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Israeli shot dead at entrance to West Bank settlement

An aerial view shows people around a portable building under construction at the Israeli settler outpost of Homesh in the occupied West Bank. — AFP
An aerial view shows people around a portable building under construction at the Israeli settler outpost of Homesh in the occupied West Bank. — AFP

JERUSALEM: An Israeli man was shot dead Tuesday at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, medics and military officials said.

The 32-year-old was identified as Meir Tamari by the Shomron Regional Council, the Israeli body which administers settlements in the northern West Bank.

He was fatally wounded beside the Hermesh settlement, where he had lived for the past four years according to the council.

Tamari was transferred to Hillel Yaffe hospital in Israel where he was pronounced dead, a statement from the facility said.

The Israeli military said troops clashed behind the shooting at the settlement entrance, without identifying the alleged assailants.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party, said "our soldiers" were behind the attack.

"On the road to Hermesh settlement, they opened fire towards a vehicle which was carrying a settler," the group said in a statement.

The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and settlements built in the Palestinian territory are deemed illegal under international law.

The office of Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said he would "hold a situation assessment together with senior officials in the defence establishment" following the shooting.

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli forces detained five people during multiple raids in Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

In the northern Nur Shams refugee camp, the military said troops "responded with live fire" to people shooting at them and throwing Molotov cocktails.

Israelis started reviving a flashpoint outpost settlement in the occupied West Bank on Monday constructing a building at the site which has drawn international attention.

Using a truck, diggers and an earth roller, work got underway to erect a portable building at the northern West Bank site.

Israeli soldiers were seen guarding around 20 people carrying out construction work at the Homesh site, which Israel evacuated nearly two decades ago.

The latest development comes weeks after the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged his government had no plans to reconstruct the site.

Washington and the wider international community view Israeli settlements built in the Palestinian territories as illegal and a barrier to peace.

The European Union last week pressed Israel to "cease the policy of settlement expansion" and condemned increased settler violence against Palestinians. — AFP

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