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Israeli settler kills Palestinian amid rise in violence

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WEST BANK: An Israeli settler shot dead a Palestinian man who the military said tried to carry out a stabbing attack in a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

The incident came as several European countries condemned Israeli demolitions and settler violence in the West Bank, which flared again as Palestinian farmers said Jewish settlers fired at them while they were working on their agriculture land.

The Palestinian health ministry said it was informed by the unit that coordinates civilian affairs with Israel that 28-year-old Alaa Qaysiyeh was shot dead "by the occupation" south of Hebron.

Israeli media said the incident occurred as people in the settlement of Teneh Omarim were gathering for prayers for the Jewish Shavuot festival.

Qaysiyeh's sister-in-law, Nana, said that the youngest of nine siblings worked intermittently, largely kept to himself and was not a member of any armed groups. She said his brother Murad, her husband, was released six months ago after 17 years in an Israeli prison on accusations of firing at a settlement and wounding three people.

No armed groups claimed Qaysiyeh as a member.

Israel occupied the West Bank, which Palestinians want as the core of an independent state, in the 1967 Middle East war.

Bashar al-Qaryuti, a field researcher with the St. Yves rights group, said Jewish settlers teased Palestinian farmers in three different areas of the West Bank, with the backing of Israeli soldiers.

In the village of al-Mughayyir near the city of Ramallah, Palestinians said settlers fired and hurled stones at them as they were tending to their land, then torched their cars, setting off clashes.

"We were moving bales of hay when the settlers arrived with soldiers and started firing at us," said Murad Abu Alia.

Attaf al-Naasan said that the settlers poured fuel on his car and set it on fire as the soldiers watched and prevented him from reaching it.

A European Union delegation to the Palestinians issued statements condemning on Friday's settler violence and calling on Israel to "halt all confiscations and demolitions in the occupied West Bank, to return or compensate for donor funded humanitarian items and to give unimpeded humanitarian access".

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