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Jewish settler violence escalates in the West Bank

Violence in Turmus Ayya was retaliation for terror attack the previous day, similar to rioting earlier this year in the village of Huwara

Car burning in the Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya (Photo: Screenshot)

Violence escalated in the West Bank as Jewish settler vigilantes set fire to homes, cars and fields in the Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya on Wednesday afternoon, leaving one dead and 12 injured.

Omar Kattin, a 27-year-old father of two small children, was identified as the Palestinian man who was shot and killed during the Jewish settler violence, while authorities attempted to gain control of the riots. Circumstance of his death are still unclear.

The attacks came just after the funerals of two Israelis who were shot during a Palestinian terrorist attack near a settlement in the West Bank on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, the mayor of Turmus Ayya said that some 60 cars and 30 homes were damaged as a result of the attacks, according to Palestinian media.

Damage caused to Palestinian homes and cars by Jewish settlers in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, June 21, 2023. (Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Israel Defense Forces condemned the settler violence and sent a special patrol unit with firefighters to put out the fires and prevent further destruction and conflict.

“The IDF condemns these serious incidents of violence and destruction of property. Incidents like these prevent the IDF and the security forces from focusing on their main mission, protecting the security of the citizens of the State of Israel and preventing terror,” a spokesperson said.

Damage caused to a Palestinian home by Jewish settlers in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, June 21, 2023. (Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

According to police, while the special unit officers were there, a Palestinian riot broke out and someone fired at an officer.

“During the riot, Yasam officers operating at the scene identified a shot fired toward them…in response, a Yasam officer who felt his life was in danger fired a precise shot at a rioter suspected of shooting,” the spokesperson said.  

The suspect was hit, but it is unclear whether Kattin was shot by police. Palestinian witnesses say Kattin was nowhere near Israeli forces when he was shot.

“He was just standing there, innocent, he is such a kind-hearted kid. He had no stones, he was totally unarmed; he was at least half a mile from the military,” said his neighbor, Khamis Jbara.

No arrests have been made. The Israeli military said it condemns settler violence and an investigation is underway.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry criticized the settler violence and urged for an “immediate cessation” of attacks in Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

“Egypt affirms its complete rejection of acts of intimidation and collective punishment targeting Palestinian citizens,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Jordan's Foreign Ministry lambasted the settler violence, urging the international community to intervene and provide protection for Palestinians.

The settler violence in Turmus Ayya was reportedly in retaliation for the terror attack the previous day, similar to rioting that took place earlier this year in the village of Huwara. According to Palestinian media, a mob of around 400 settlers damaged Palestinian property just hours after two Israeli brothers were killed by Palestinian terrorists.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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