A masked Palestinian demonstrator uses a slingshot to hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes near the West Bank city of Nablus, December 29, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
One Palestinian was killed and dozens more wounded by IDF fire on Tuesday night, when hundreds of Palestinian youth clashed with troops during a manhunt for Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, the terrorist who stabbed and killed Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal at the Ariel junction the previous day.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that Palestinians fired live ammunition toward the troops as well as lobbed Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and stones at them and built barricades.
“Security forces responded by firing in the air and deploying crowd control measures to disperse the assembled mob. Forces from the Samaria Regional Division arrested seven Palestinians who have been transferred for questioning,” the statement said.
Some 40 Palestinians were injured during the clashes, half a dozen of them reported in critical condition, according to official Palestinian news agency Wafa. One man was seriously wounded when he was shot in the thigh and the bullet penetrated his femoral artery, another man was in critical condition after being run over by an army jeep.
The dead Palestinian was identified as Khaled Walid Tayeh, 22, from Iraq al-Tayeh near Nablus. According to Wafa, Tayeh was critically wounded when he was shot in the chest. He died from his wounds in Al-Najah Hospital in Nablus.
Earlier in the day, the IDF surrounded the city in a hunt for Ben-Gal’s suspected killer.
Assi had scouted the scene of the attack the previous day, taunting troops who were guarding a nearby bus stop, according to Ynet news. Due to his suspicious behavior, troops distanced him from civilians as they questioned him. After they ascertained that he was Israeli with a blue identity card and released him, Assi swore at them saying: “I’ll remember your faces, you whores.”
Ben-Gal was buried on Monday afternoon in Har Bracha, the settlement in which he lived with his wife and four children.
IDF troops are still searching for Assi who fled the scene with the help of an unidentified driver who was waiting for him nearby.
According to Wafa, IDF troops also blocked the Huwara checkpoint, south of Nablus, from both directions and the main road connecting the city with Kalkilya on Tuesday. While it is not clear why the military blocked those areas, Nablus is not far from where Ben-Gal was killed.
A large number of troops also entered the village of Kifl Haris in connection to the manhunt.