A top UN official condemned settler violence after a Palestinian man was shot to death in the West Bank Saturday. The shooting, reportedly by a settler, came after an Israeli hiker was attacked at a nearby location by three Arab men and stabbed in the hand.
“#Israel must put an end to settler violence & bring those responsible to justice,” tweeted UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.
“My thoughts & prayers go out to the family of the #Palestinian man killed & those injured. All must condemn violence, stand up to terror,” he wrote of the incident, which took place near the Palestinian village of al-Mughayer.
“Today’s violence,” he wrote, “is shocking & unacceptable!”
Mladenov's comments came after Hamdi Taleb Na’san, 38, a father of four, was killed outside of his village near the Adei Ad outpost in the Binyamin Region of the West Bank.
The clashes began when an Israeli hiker was attacked and stabbed in the hand by three Palestinians. The hiker managed to escape to Adei Ad.
The community’s volunteer security team and other teams from the area went in search of the suspects and were ambushed near al-Mughayer. According to Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz, members of the security team had to defend themselves by opening fire.
IDF soldiers who arrived to rescue the security team also opened fire. According to the IDF, Na’san was killed by a settler during those clashes. According to Palestinian reports, 30 others were wounded.
Ganz said security members fired because they felt their lives were in danger.
“This is a very serious situation... security forces are working to calm the situation,” he said.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi called the settler volunteer security teams "militias" and alleged they “raided Al-Mughayer village” under protection from the Israeli army, “terrorizing the defenseless residents and wreaking havoc.”