Israel arrests two settlers after rampage on village that killed one Palestinian

Israel arrests two settlers after rampage on village that killed one Palestinian
Israeli police have arrested two settlers after the storming of Burqa by Israeli settlers led to the death of a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank.
2 min read
05 August, 2023
Israeli soldiers patrol near Burqa where the settlers killed a 19-year-old Palestinian [Getty]

Israeli police said Saturday that they arrested two Israeli settlers after they stormed a Palestinian village in the illegally occupied West Bank in a rampage that killed one Palestinian.

Armed settlers entered Burqa, a herding village east of the city of Ramallah, late Friday, shooting and killing 19-year-old Qusai Mataan, Palestinian health officials said.

Israeli media reported that one of the arrested settlers, who remained unnamed, used to work as an aide for a lawmaker of the far-right Israeli “Jewish Power" party which is in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right coalition of ultranationalist and ultraorthodox parties in the Israeli parliament. It includes Itamar Ben-Gvir, a pro-settlement firebrand known for hardline positions against Palestinians.

The party couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Police said they arrested two settlers after detaining five for questioning. The other settler who was arrested was hospitalised after sustaining injuries Friday night. Authorities did not elaborate on the charges.

The Israeli army claimed that Israeli settlers arrived in the area to herd sheep, leading to clashes between Israelis and Palestinians from the village. Both sides hurled rocks at each other, the army said, and Israelis fired at Palestinians, leaving Mataan dead and four Palestinians and several Israelis injured by rocks.

The village was closed down and more Israeli troops were stationed in the area surrounding it.

Palestinian officials said the settlers also burned two cars in the village. They also called for the perpetrators to be punished.

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Violence has spiralled in the northern West Bank with increasingly deadly Israeli military raids into areas of the occupied West Bank, a swell as growing attacks by extremist Jewish settlers.

The surge in fighting is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two decades. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press.