Palestinian killed in confrontation in West Bank settlement

February 5, 2021 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Friday that an unarmed Palestinian man was shot and killed in a West Bank settlement after he tried to break into a home and fought with a guard.

The military referred to the incident as a “terror attack,” but a spokesman was unable to explain how it came to that conclusion, given that no weapons were found on the suspect or in his car. The military said the suspect fought with a guard, who was also unarmed, before being shot and killed by another guard and a third individual.

The incident took place in what the military referred to as “Sde Efraim farm,” one of several small outposts set up by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Radi Abu Fkheideh, the head of the local council in the nearby Palestinian village of Ras Karkar, identified the deceased as Khaled Nofal, 34, the married father of a four-year-old boy. He said the army stormed Nofal’s home in the village early Friday and detained his father. Ras Karkar is located near Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

He had no information about the circumstances of Nofal’s death, but said the family owned land near the settler outpost.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the killing. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called it a “heinous crime” and denounced the “terrorism of the occupation and the settlers.”

There have been a series of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks against Israelis in recent years, mostly carried out by lone Palestinians with no apparent ties to armed groups.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state. Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, mainly in large, developed settlements. Hard-line settlers have established a number of smaller outposts without official authorization.

The Palestinians view all the settlements as illegal and a major obstacle to peace, a position with wide international support.