One Palestinians youth was killed and another wounded early Friday after settlers reportedly opened fire at a village north of the West Bank city of Hebron, only a day after a Palestinian youth was shot and killed by an unidentified Israeli citizen near Nablus.
According to preliminary Palestinian reports, the incident occurred after dozens of settlers from the settlement of Bat Ayin descended on the village of Khirbet Safa in the early morning hours and confronted some of the locals.
The confrontations reportedly resulted in the setters opening fire at the crowd, leaving one Palestinian lightly wounded and another in critical condition. The two were evacuated to a hospital in Beit Jala near Bethlehem, where one of them, a 17-year-old succumbed to his wounds.
The settlers, however, claimed that a group traveling nearby was fired upon, adding that others came to their rescue. Preliminary reports said it took police and Israel Defense Forces units over half an hour to arrive at the area.
Commenting on the fatal incident, Kiryat Arba's council chief Malachi Levinger reiterated claims that the settlers were attacked while hiking in the area, and emphasized what he called as the "right of Jews to travel their country."
"We call upon the IDF and the police to aid the defense of this right and to seek the guilty parties within the rioters not within the travelers who acted in self defense," Levinger added.
On Thursday, police confirmed Palestinians reports claiming that a Palestinian who was shot to death near Nablus earlier in the day was shot by an unidentified Israeli citizen.
Palestinian eyewitnesses said that 18-year-old Fadi Kaddous was shot to death by a settler after clashes broke out between the shooter and a group of rock-throwing Palestinians.
A nearby security camera apparently captured grainy images of the shooting and confirmed that the shooter had Israeli features.
The camera footage showed the group of Palestinians attacking a man with rocks. The man responded by firing a gun in the air, which failed to deter his attackers. The man fired again, this time in the direction of the Palestinians. The video supposedly shows the bullet entering and exiting the shoulder-chest region of one of the attackers; it is being further studied by ballistics experts.
Police also investigated the group of three Palestinian villagers who reported the incident. The group had at first said that armed settlers attacked them but further on in the investigation changed their testimony. The police are currently searching for the unidentified shooter.
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