An Israeli bus carrying settlers ran over and killed a Palestinian shepherd near the West Bank city of Nablus on Monday, local Palestinian residents said.
At around 5 pm local rescue services reported that the shepherd, 15, was hit by a bus as he crossed a road on a donkey near the Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh, near the Palestinian village of Salem, where the shepherd lived. He was transferred by a Red Crescent medical team to a hospital in Nablus, where he died of his wounds a short time later.
An Israeli police spokesman confirmed the shepherd was killed in what he called a road accident.
Palestinians gathered at the scene and hurled stones at the bus, lightly injuring one of the passengers. Israeli soldiers guarding the settlement fired into the air to disperse the crowd, witnesses said.
Ahmad Jabour, a member of Salem's local council, said the shepherd was the third Palestinian killed in the area by Israeli drivers over the last 12 months. Another resident of the village told Ynet that the bus accelerated as it approached the shepherd, proving that he was hit intentionally.
One of the shepherd's relatives, Abu-Zaki Shtaya, said the villagers spotted the bus as it veered from the right lane in the direction of the shepherd. "We are certain that this act was intentional," he said.
According to Shtaya, Israel has authorized Palestinians to use the settlement's main road to reach their agricultural lands. "Apparently this settler wanted to make it clear to the Palestinians that they are better off not using this road," he said.
Ali Waked contributed to the report