Israel arrests four Palestinians suspected of killing settler

The four are suspected of firing at least 10 bullets at a car, killing 25-year-old Yehuda Dimentman and wounding two fellow students



Israeli soldiers stand between Palestinians and a Jewish settler following a settler attack on the West Bank village of Burqa after an Israeli settler was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen. — AP
Israeli soldiers stand between Palestinians and a Jewish settler following a settler attack on the West Bank village of Burqa after an Israeli settler was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen. — AP

By AFP

Published: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 8:51 PM

Israel’s army said on Sunday they had arrested four Palestinian men suspected of shooting dead a Jewish settler and wounding two others in the occupied West Bank days before.

“The four terrorists who carried out the shooting attack last Thursday were caught,” the army said in a statement.

“The suspects were transferred to the security forces for further investigation, and the weapon of the suspect who carried out the shooting was captured.”

The four are suspected of firing at least 10 bullets at a car, killing 25-year-old religious student Yehuda Dimentman and wounding two fellow students as they drove out of Homesh, an illegal outpost in the northern West Bank.

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The military said the suspects were caught in the village of Silat Al Harithiyah, in the Jenin governorate in the northern West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the army, police and the Shin Bet security agency for making the arrests.

“Every terrorist will know that Israel will bring him to justice,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.

“The pain is enormous, but terrorism will not win and will not move us from our place,” he added, in a message to Dimentman’s family.

Dimentman, a married father, was studying at a religious school in Homesh, which had been evacuated by Israeli forces in 2005 but where settlers nevertheless continued to operate the yeshiva centre.

Early on Sunday, hundreds of Israelis swarmed Homesh, clashing with security forces there and trying to build homes in retribution for the attack, the army said.

“The residents acted in violence towards the security forces, breaching barricades and entering the outpost,” a statement from the military read.

“The residents vandalised military property and blocked the troops’ passage. An IDF soldier was lightly injured after being hit by a resident’s vehicle,” it said.

Later on Sunday, army spokesman Brigadier-General Ran Kochav said he suspected Thursday’s deadly attack had been the result of sophisticated coordination.

“I believe we are talking about a terrorist organisation,” Kochav told Israeli public radio.

Multiple Palestinian groups had praised the attack, although none claimed responsibility.

The arrests follow a tense weekend. On Saturday, Israeli border police arrested a 65-year-old Palestinian woman in Hebron after she allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli settler.

On Friday, Jewish settlers raided the northern West Bank village of Burqah, near where Dimentman had been killed the night before.

An AFP reporter observed Israeli assailants hurling stones through the windows of homes and firing weapons.

Further south in the village of Qaryut, a Palestinian man was hospitalised after settlers assaulted him at home, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. Israeli police said they were investigating the incident.

The past month has seen Palestinian attacks on Israelis and the killing of Palestinians by Israeli troops during clashes.

On Friday, United Nations Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland said he was “alarmed by the escalating violence in the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem, which is claiming the lives of Israelis and Palestinians”.


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