Palestinian man shot dead during settler violence in West Bank

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Palestinian man shot dead during settler violence in West Bank

A Palestinian man has been shot dead, and dozens others have been wounded in the occupied West Bank during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers and settlers in the village of al-Mugheir, northeast of Ramallah.

The 38-year-old, identified as Hamdi Naasan, was shot in the back and succumbed to his wounds shortly after at a hospital in Ramallah, the health ministry said on Saturday.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

Amin abu Alya, head of the Mugheir village council, said settlers opened fire before the Israeli army moved in.

“At the beginning it was settlers shooting, then the army came and fired tear gas,” he told AFP news agency by phone.

An Israeli military official confirmed to Haaretz newspaper that settlers used live fire during the confrontation.

At least 30 others were also wounded during confrontations, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. It said its medics were working to evacuate several people injured from the village.

At least six Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition.

West Bank checkpoints: ‘Endless’ delays, every day

According to local media, confrontations broke out when Jewish settlers attempted to raid the village with the protection of Israeli soldiers.

A statement by the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the settler attack.

“This [attack] reaffirms that the Israeli government is continuing its policy of escalation,” the statement, carried by Wafa News Agency, said.

“This will lead to serious consequences, further tension and the creation of a dangerous and uncontrollable atmosphere.”

Between 600,000 to 750,000 Israelis live in the occupied Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. They live in hundreds of illegal Jewish-only settlements built on Palestinian land.

The presence of the settlers within and around Palestinian towns and villages causes near-daily friction between the communities.

Israel has continued to expand settlements in the occupied territories, angering Palestinian leadership, who view this as a theft of their land and a major obstacle in peace efforts.

International law views West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlements on the land to be illegal.

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