Palestinian killed during settler rampage in Turmusayya town near Ramallah

Palestinian killed during settler rampage in Turmusayya town near Ramallah
3 min read
22 June, 2023
Amid a wave of settler violence against Palestinian villages, at least 400 settlers rampaged through the town of Turmusayya, leaving one Palestinian dead and at least 13 others wounded.
The Israeli settlers destroyed around 30 homes and numerous businesses in Turmusayya [Getty]

A Palestinian man was killed on Wednesday in a village that came under attack by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Omar Qattin, 27, was shot dead as hundreds of Israeli settlers rampaged through the village of Turmusayya, just north of Ramallah. Thirteen other Palestinians were injured by live fire.

The large-scale settler attacks on Palestinian villages across the West Bank began on Tuesday afternoon, after the killing of four settlers in the illegal settlement of Eli in the occupied Palestinian territory.

On Tuesday night, settlers rampaged through Turmusayya, burning vehicles, throwing stones at houses, destroying olive trees and crops, and damaging local businesses.

Settler violence turns deadly

On Wednesday afternoon, settler mobs returned to the village. Around 400  settlers, many of them armed, marched through the Palestinian town centre, setting homes, vehicles and trees ablaze, leaving over 60 cars torched and 30 houses burned. 

It was during this assault that Omar Qattin, an electrician and father of two, was killed. It is yet to be confirmed if he was shot by a settler.

The Palestinian Minister of Health confirmed that Qattin was dead on arrival, with a gunshot wound to the chest, at the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Witnesses say that Qattin was unarmed and trying to get away from the marauding settlers.

State-sanctioned revenge?

The Mayor of Turmusayya, Lafi Adeeb, said that the settlers were accompanied by the Israel army, as was the case during the first wave of settler violence on Tuesday night, according to witnesses.

“The attacks intensified in the past hour, even after the army came”, Adeeb told Wafa

Adeeb pointed out that Turmusayya is particularly vulnerable to attacks, with the village being surrounded by illegal settlements. 

Palestinians and human rights groups have long warned about the unwillingness of Israeli authorities to stop settler violence. Such violence, though usually smaller in scale than Israeli military attacks, is a daily reality for Palestinians.

Adeeb called for the international community to step in and provide protection for what he believes is effectively state-sanctioned violence against Palestinians. 

The Israeli government’s response to the killings at Eli is seen as having exacerbated tensions, with Netanyahu announcing the illegal building of 1000 new residential settlement units in Eli, saying "our answer to terror is to strike it hard and build our country". 

The far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir responded to the attacks at Eli by calling for settlers to arm themselves, while a Likud MK shared on Twitter that “collective punishment” of Palestinians was a "reasonable response" to the killings.

The shooting of settlers at Eli on Tuesday and the subsequent killing of Qattin during settler reprisals on Wednesday followed the bloody incursion of Israeli forces into Jenin on Monday. The attack by the Israeli army on the Palestinian refugee camp left 7 people dead, including a 15-year-old girl