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Violent clashes erupt after 14-year-old Israeli shepherd found murdered by terrorists in Samaria

DM Gallant: Revenge violence will only harm the hunt for the murderers

Israeli security forces guard while smoke rises from the village of Duma in the West Bank, after settlers entered the village and set on fire cars and houses following the murder of 14-years-old Benjamin Achimeir, April 13, 2024. (Photo: Itai Ron/Flash90)

A 14-year-old Israeli boy was found murdered in Samaria on Saturday after he had gone missing the day before while herding a flock of sheep near the outpost of Malachi Shalom, about 25 km (15 miles) north of Jerusalem.

The body of Binyamin Achimeir was found close to his family’s farm, following an extensive search of the area by large security forces using drones. His family had reported him missing on Friday morning when his flock of sheep returned to the farm without him.

Binyamin Achimeir (Photo: Social media)

In a joint statement, the IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police confirmed that Achimeir was murdered by one or more Palestinian terrorists, estimating he had been killed with blunt force soon after heading out around midday on Friday.

Israeli security forces were carrying out an extensive manhunt for the suspects, they added.

In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent “heartfelt condolences” to Achimeir’s family and vowed that security forces would find those responsible.

“I call on all citizens of Israel to allow the security forces to do their work unhindered so that we can come to terms with the abominable murderers and their helpers soon,” Netanyahu added.

Violent clashes between extremist settlers and local Palestinians broke out soon after the searches began on Friday, with one Palestinian killed and several others wounded by gunfire.

The IDF stated that “dozens of Israelis and Palestinians were injured to various degrees” in clashes, which had subsided as of Saturday evening.

Groups of Jewish settlers rampaged through several nearby Palestinian villages, including Douma and al-Mughayir, vandalizing property and setting fire to dozens of cars in revenge.

Israeli media reported that while Palestinians claimed the victim was shot and killed by settlers, he might have also been killed in clashes between local Palestinians and IDF soldiers who arrived to restore order.

Several Israeli soldiers were wounded by stones thrown by Palestinians, Army Radio reported.

An Israeli photojournalist also told Ynet News he was severely beaten by a group of Israeli settlers while covering the events in Douma.

“The security system will reach the murderer and bring him to justice, as we have done with every terrorist and murderer,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant wrote on 𝕏.

“I appeal to the public, let the security forces act quickly in the hunt for the terrorists, revenge actions will make it difficult for our fighters in their mission. The law must not be taken into one's hands,” Gallant added.

According to Ynet, the IDF is concerned about additional violent clashes on Saturday night and reinforced its troops in Judea and Samaria, internationally known as the West Bank.

Following a situation assessment, Brig.-Gen. Yaki Dolf, IDF commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, ordered the deployment of troops to central settlements and intersections to avoid escalations.

Dolf also spoke with local council heads and community leaders asking them to calm the residents in their communities.

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

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