Palestinians protest in territories
Photo: AFP
Israeli Arabs protest in Shoafat
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Settler kills Palestinian teen near Ramallah

Israeli citizen fires at 17-year-old youth near settlement of Talmon as Palestinians riot, hurl stones near community. Settler tells police investigators he fired after dozens of Palestinians approached him; initial IDF probe says action warranted. IDF, Border Guard officers and 11 Palestinians injured in riots in Qalqilya, Nablus

A 30-year-old resident of the settlement of Neriya shot a 17-year-old Palestinian to death Monday near the West Bank settlement of Talmon. According to the settler, he had encountered rioting Palestinians and was afraid they would lynch him.


The settler was released from police custody under conditions later in the day. 


An initial IDF inquiry into the shooting incident revealed that the settler's actions were warranted. The inquiry is led by Colonel Amir Abulafia, commander of the Binyamin Brigade.

A police official told Ynet that "without the body or any other conclusive evidence, it will be very difficult top make progress in this investigation and take legal action against the suspect."


The incident took place as Palestinians rioted and hurled stones near the community in protest of the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip.


Police forces dispatched to the area questioned the settler, who told them that while he walking in the area he spotted a veiled man. He shouted at him, and the Palestinian escaped. As he continued walking, he saw dozens of Palestinians hurling stones.


According to the shooter, he used his personal gun to fire warning shots in the air. As he saw the Palestinians approaching him, he shot at their legs.


The Palestinians claimed that they were fired on from the community of Neriya while standing next to the fence. According to the Maan news agency, the teen killed was identified as Muhammad Salah Shraiteh.


Settlers: Shooter's life was in danger

Former Binyamin Regional Council head Pinchas Wallerstein told Ynet, "The incident took place within the community. The man was making his way from his house to the seminary he studies in. When he felt his life was in danger, he fired in the air. As he failed to distance the Palestinians, he fired at one of the rioters and saved his own life.


"He did not enter a Palestinian village and this was not a provocative incident. This was a life-endangering incident. Those who do not wish to see a Hamas state growing in Judea and Samaria must end these riots as they take place."


Avinoam Goelman, chairman of Talmon's security committee, told Ynet that Palestinians from a village near the settlement "approached the community with PLO and Hizbullah flags. They tried to destroy the fence of an agricultural farm.


"A group of Palestinians hurled stones at a fortified bus, which continued driving. Later a Neriya resident passed by, was attacked and fired in the air. He alerted the security forces and the Palestinians escaped."


Sources in the West Bank told Ynet that the incident occurred after 200 Palestinians stoned an Israeli bus. According to one of the sources, "The shooter was walking and the Palestinians tried to lynch him.


"They attacked him with stones, encircled him and he shot in the air to warn them. He then fired at one of the rioters, killing a Palestinian."


According to the Palestinians, soldiers and settlers opened fire at the residents protesting the IDF's operation in Gaza. Palestinian medical sources said that the young man was shot in the head by IDF soldiers.


2 officers, 11 Palestinians injured

In another incident, an IDF officer was lightly wounded by stones hurled at him in the city of Qlaqilya. A Border Guard officer was lightly injured in his hands by stones thrown during riots near Nablus.


Earlier Monday, dozens of young east Jerusalem residents protested in Salah al-Din Street. The demonstrators set fire to dumpsters and hurled stones at police officers. Some chanted slogans against Israel.


There were no reports of injuries, but a police car was damaged. Three residents were arrested by the police.

Shoafat riots (Photo: AFP)


In Bethlehem, four Palestinians were reportedly injured by IDF fire near Rachel's Tomb. Four Palestinians were injured in the village of Beit Omar, near Hebron, as youngsters and students clashed with IDF soldiers.


The Palestinians also reported that three young people were injured in the al-Aroub refugee camp, in the Gush Eztion area.


Clashes between soldiers and Palestinians also took place in the Tulkarm area and in the al-Faraa refugee camp – between Tulkarm and Jenin. Several people were reportedly injured.


Rallies were also held in the Ramllah area and in other places in the West Bank.


A 13-year-old Palestinian was killed Sunday in clashes between demonstrators and soldiers in Hebron. The IDF reported that the youth was shot while trying to damage the separation fence. Palestinians reported of dozens injured in the incident.


Business owners in Hebron have launched a strike to express solidarity with Gaza's residents, and schools also went on strike in some places.


Ali Waked, Hanan Greenberg, Roi Mandel, Adva Naftali and Kobi Nahshoni contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 03.03.08, 11:30
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