Tensions Flare in West Bank After Israeli Teenager Is Found Dead

By John Mercury April 17, 2024

The disappearance and death of an Israeli teenager, whose body was found on Saturday in the West Bank, spurred deadly rioting by Israeli settlers in Palestinian villages, ratcheting up tensions even further in the occupied territory.

Settlers unleashed a wave of mob violence in a Palestinian village near Ramallah on Friday and carried out mob assaults in at least two villages on Saturday, after the Israeli authorities announced that the teenager, Binyamin Achimair, had been found dead.

The Israeli police said Binyamin, 14, had left a farming settlement in the West Bank to herd sheep on Friday morning but never returned. Israeli forces found his body on Saturday near the settlement, Malachei HaShalom, in the central West Bank.

The second day of unrest erupted in the village near Ramallah, Al Mughayir, and another Palestinian village, Duma, an Israeli security official said. Israeli settlers, some of them armed, entered the villages, the official added. There were reports that the settlers had opened fire.

The Israeli military said in a statement that dozens of Palestinians and Israelis were wounded during clashes at several locations across the West Bank on Saturday. It described them as “confrontations between Israeli civilians and Palestinians” in which “rocks were hurled and shots were fired.” The statement said the military and police worked to disperse the crowds.

In Duma, the attackers “covered the entire village,” some of them armed, said Naser Dawabsheh, a resident. They set several buildings and cars ablaze, sending a cloud of dense smoke over the village, he said. Rather than dispersing the Israeli rioters, the Israeli military protected them, he added.


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