A Palestinian and an Israeli child die in an increase in bloodshed – KGET 17

JERUSALEM (AP) – An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian man in the northern West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian health officials said, while an eight-year-old child died of injuries sustained a day earlier in a car attack in Jerusalem.

As night fell, warning sirens sounded in southern Israel as Palestinian militants fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip that was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, the Israeli military said. There was no immediate statement from Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza.

Saturday’s events were the latest escalation in months of rising violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

In the northern West Bank, near Salfit, an agricultural village with olive groves, videos show Israeli settlers rushing down the hills and storming into the town. As Palestinians took to the streets to see what was happening, an Israeli settler opened fire, killing a 27-year-old villager, said Ghassan Douglas, a Palestinian official who oversees Israeli settlements in the Nablus region. The settlers dispersed when the Israeli army arrived, he said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain villager as Methqal Rayan and said he had been shot in the head. A video shared by the village council shows settlers firing at least 10 shots at residents.

Douglas said the northern West Bank has seen an intense wave of settler violence in recent days. On Friday, he said, just after a car attack in Jerusalem that killed three Israelis, settlers similarly swooped into a village and stole several sheep from a farmer. Settlers attacked and wounded Palestinians who tried to defend the farmer, he said.

Israeli police have opened an investigation into the shooting of a Palestinian, the military said. Israeli security forces are said to have de-escalated the situation after the Palestinian was taken to hospital.

In Jerusalem, Asher Menahem Paley, 8, died a day after a Palestinian rammed his car into a bus stop in an Israeli settlement in the eastern half of the disputed capital, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem announced his death on Saturday. His six-year-old brother was killed in the car attack, along with a 20-year-old man.

After the attack, Israel’s new hardline government promised a tough response. Almost immediately, Israeli police arrested and interrogated relatives of the suspected attacker, 32-year-old Hussein Qaraqaa from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.

Qaraqa’s family says he was born in Jerusalem but has family in Bethlehem. His uncle, 63-year-old Adnan Qaraqa in Bethlehem, told The Associated Press that his nephew had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.

Qaraqa said Hussein’s mental problems began in 2008, when he was arrested for the first of several minor offenses. He stated that Israeli interrogators severely beat Hussein in custody, leaving him “irrevocably changed.”

A few years later, Hussein fell from a crane at a construction site, his uncle said, sustaining a serious injury that worsened his mental state. Hussein had bounced between psychiatric wards for years, Qaraqa added, and had been released from hospital just two days before walking into a crowded bus station on Friday.

The West Bank has been on edge since Israel stepped up attacks on the territory last spring, following a series of deadly Palestinian attacks inside Israel.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in the territories since 2004, according to leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem. Last year, 30 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

The rate of death has accelerated this year. So far, 45 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Associated Press. Palestinians killed 10 people on the Israeli side during that time.


Associated Press writer Fares Akram in Hamilton, Ontario contributed to this report.

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