Israeli Settler Chases, Shoots Palestinian Stone-thrower in West Bank, Army Says

Shooting on West Bank's main highway leaves Palestinian moderately wounded; army say Palestinians threw stones at Israeli cars

Scene of shooting of Palestinian by Israeli settler after suspected stone-throwing in Wadi Haramiya near Silwad in the central West Bank. May 17, 2017

An Israeli settler shot and moderately wounded a Palestinian man on Wednesday morning he claimed attacked him with stones along the West Bank's main highway. The settler said he was acting in self defense.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, some 20 Palestinians threw stones at Israeli cars driving along Route 60 early on Wednesday. One of the Israelis then exited his car, chased the stone-throwers and opened fire at one of them, the IDF said. The incident took place in Wadi Haramiya near Silwad in the central West Bank. 

Palestinians identified the stone-thrower as 19-year-old Rasem Khamed and said the group he was with blocked Route 60 in solidarity with Palestinians in Israeli prison currently on hunger strike. Khamed suffered moderate wounds and was taken to a local hospital.

Police detained the shooter and a friend who was with him for questioning. Far-right activist Itamar Ben Gvir, representing the settler's friend, said the two will claim they acted in self defense after being attacked with stones.

The two were interrogated for eight hours and then released on their own recognizance, after pledging to not talk to one another. The police said that while they were released the investigation into their illegal use of a fire arm will continue.

Attorney Adi Kedar, representing the settler himself, said that "they prevented a planned terror attack by dozens of terrorists who waited in an organized and planned manner to cause the death of Israelis."

A Jewish woman, 35, was wounded overnight on Route 60 due to stone throwing. She was taken to a Jerusalem hospital after her car was hit with stones near the Al-Hader Junction.