US slams murder of Palestinian by Israel settlers as ‘terrorism’ – Middle East Monitor

Washington has condemned as “terrorism” the killing of a Palestinian by suspected Jewish settlers, in language that appears to reflect US frustration with surging violence in the occupied West Bank under Israel’s hard-right government, Reuters reported.

Israeli police detained two settlers following Friday’s attack near the village of Burqa. According to Palestinians, they were part of a group that threw rocks, torched cars and, when confronted by villagers, shot a 19-year-old dead and wounded several others.

Initial findings by Israel’s military described the incident as a confrontation that escalated, with casualties on both sides. A defence lawyer said the settlers – one of whom was absent from a court hearing due to a head injury – acted in self-defence.

In their arraignment, a transcript of which was obtained by Haaretz newspaper, the state accused the settlers of “deliberate or depraved-indifference homicide” with a racist motivation.

“We strongly condemn yesterday’s terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers that killed a 19-year old Palestinian,” the US State Department said in a statement late on Saturday, urging “full accountability and justice.”

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, said on social media that Palestinian stone-throwers at Burqa “tried to murder Jews” and that he expected them to be fully investigated.

According to Israel’s Army Radio, the rate of attacks by settlers or their supporters against Palestinians in the West Bank has more than doubled this year compared to 2022.

“We are faced with the evolution of a dangerous Jewish nationalist terrorism,” opposition lawmaker Benny Gantz, a former defence minister, said on Twitter. “Whatever happened at Burqa, it joins a slew of events that beset our security forces with having to pursue, rather than protect, Israelis.”

Hamas: praising settler who killed Palestinians reflects Israeli ‘fascism’

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