The body of a 17-year-old Bedouin from the Jordan Rift Valley village of Akraba was found Sunday night near the Jewish community of Gitit with gunshot wounds.
The body was transferred to the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine. The police found it difficult to determine when the youth was shot, saying it was possible he was not killed in the same place where his body was uncovered, as no gunshot signs or bullet cartridges were found in the area.
The investigation is currently focusing on the intelligence level, and the police plan to collect evidence from Bedouins living in the area.
Palestinians claimed that the youth, Yehie Ata Bani Minia, who works as a shepherd, was shot by settlers. According to an official source in the Palestinian government, two teenagers spotted a white car belonging to settlers chasing the young man and later heard gunshots.
Palestinians living in the Nablus area said the killing was part of a wave of harassments by settlers, noting that another shepherd from the village was killed two years ago.
Akraba Council Head Rashed Fahmi Marra told Ynet he was not surprised by the discovery of the body. "The settlers harass and hurt not only shepherds, but only farmers and property and all the residents," he said.
According to the council head, the previous slain shepherd was found with a knife in his heart. "They killed him with a knife, but we also discovered that his hands and legs were broken. Even his teeth were broken. As far as I know, the entire case was closed and there was no investigation into the incident."
Ghassan Derjalas, responsible for the local authorities in the Nablus area, said the shepherd was "executed" and shot more than 20 times point blank.
"Eyewitnesses saw a white vehicle belonging to settlers, which began chasing the boy, and when they reached him they fired at him point blank."
The Homesh First organization responded cynically to the Palestinian claims.
"There's no doubt that all settlers are responsible for the murder in the Valley. There is also no doubt that all settlers planted the pipe bomb
which exploded on Prof. Sternhell's front door.
"We will also take responsibility for all the Christian children who disappeared last Passover. There is no need to believe every ridiculous accusation of the Palestinians," the organization said in a statement.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report