The Hamilton Spectator

Israeli settlers rampage after gunman kills 2


Scores of Israeli settlers went on a violent rampage in the northern West Bank late Sunday, setting dozens of cars and homes on fire after two settlers were killed by a Palestinia­n gunman. Palestinia­n medics said one man was killed and four others were badly wounded in what appeared to be the worst outburst of settler violence in decades.

The deadly shooting, followed by the late-night rampage, immediatel­y raised doubts about Jordan’s declaratio­n that Israeli and Palestinia­n officials had pledged to calm a year-long wave of violence.

Palestinia­n media said some 30 homes and cars were torched. Photos and video on social media showed large fires burning throughout the town of Hawara — scene of the deadly shooting earlier in the day — and lighting up the sky.

In one video, a crowd of Jewish settlers stood in prayer as they stared at a building in flames. And earlier, a prominent Israeli Cabinet minister and settler leader had called for Israel to strike “without mercy.”

Late Sunday, the Palestinia­n Health Ministry said a 37-year-old man was shot and killed by Israeli fire. The Palestinia­n Red Crescent medical service said two other people were shot and wounded, a third person was stabbed and a fourth was beaten with an iron bar. Some 95 others were being treated for tear gas inhalation.

Palestinia­n President Mahmoud Abbas condemned what he called “the terrorist acts carried out by settlers under the protection of the occupation forces tonight.”

“We hold the Israeli government fully responsibl­e,” he added.

The European Union said it was “alarmed by today’s violence” in Huwara, and said “authoritie­s on all sides must intervene now to stop this endless cycle of violence.” The U.K.’s ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, said that “Israel should tackle settler violence, with those responsibl­e brought to justice.”

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