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Palestinian killed during riots in West Bank village

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A Palestinian man was shot and killed whilst another was injured by an Israeli resident of Itamar settlement during riots in the village of Hawara yesterday.

The official Palestinian news agency quoted eyewitnesses who said that 23-year-old Palestinian Muataz Hussein Bani-Shamsa from the town of Beita, east of Nablus, “was shot by the settler as he took part in a march in support of the prisoners on hunger strike”.

The second victim has been identified as an AP photographer, Majdi Eshtiya, who suffered moderate wounds after being shot in the arm.

Israeli media report that the Israeli resident of Itamar settlement encountered a crowd of several hundred Palestinians on Route 60, which goes through the village, and was attacked by protestors, who were participating in a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike.

Footage of the incident on YNet shows that the Israeli man tried to escape through the crowd, but his way was blocked by the ambulance, which crossed into his lane. Demonstrators then surrounded the car and began throwing rocks towards the car.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, condemned the killing of the Palestinians on his Twitter, saying: “Those responsible must be investigated and prosecuted.”

In response, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said: “An Israeli citizen was attacked with rocks and nearly murdered by an incited mob. He was acting in self-defence. Have you checked (what happened) before condemning?”

The Israeli man, a social worker and a father of eight, has reportedly filed a police complaint against his presumed attackers. He told police said that he was on the way home after buying groceries when his car was stopped by hundreds of Palestinians who threw large stones at his vehicle and shattered the windows and windshield.

In response to the incident, the army and Shin Bet security service have arrested the driver of an ambulance that blocked the car as well as one of the suspected rioters.

The ambulance and a bus that is believed to have been used to shuttle people to the violent protest in Hawara were seized by the Israeli military.