Armed Israeli settlers attack Palestinian town in revenge attack

A large group of Israeli settlers have attacked a Palestinian town in the occupied West Bank, setting fire to homes, cars and fields in a revenge rampage that left one Palestinian dead from gunfire and 10 others injured, according to Palestinian witnesses and officials.

Many of the hundreds of settlers who raided the town of Turmus Ayya, north of Ramallah, on Wednesday were armed.

But the dead man, Omar Abu Katan, 27, was shot by Israeli soldiers who entered after the settlers, Palestinian medics said. According to a Palestinian Authority official, Ghassan Daghlas, the 10 wounded were struck by live shots, some fired by soldiers and others by settlers. About 30 houses and over 40 cars were torched, he said

The attack reinforced questions from rights groups who accuse the military of enjoying a cosy relationship with settlers to the point of doing little to fulfil its international legal obligation of protecting civilians.

The Turmus Ayya onslaught was part of a day of settler attacks in the northern West Bank in reprisal for the killing by Hamas gunmen on Tuesday of four settlers at a restaurant and petrol station outside the Eli settlement.



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