The Israeli who died, this Monday, in a shooting outside a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, following the escalation of violence in the region, also had American nationality, disclosed the US Department of State.
“We condemn the atrocious murders of two Israeli brothers near Nablus and the murder today of an Israeli near Jericho, who – as far as we know – was also a US citizen”, said, during a press conference, the spokesperson for State Department, Ned Price.
“We also condemn the settlers’ indiscriminate and large-scale violence against Palestinian civilians in the aftermath of the killings,” added Ned Price.
A US State Department spokesman said one Palestinian was killed and 300 were injured in the attack by Israeli settlers, in which buildings and cars were also set on fire. “These acts are totally unacceptable,” he added.
Ned Price also underlined that Washington appreciated the calls of Benjamin Netanyahu and Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister and President of Israel, respectively, for an end to all violence by self-proclaimed vigilantes.
“We look to the Israeli government to ensure that those responsible for these attacks are held fully accountable and brought to justice,” he said.
Monday’s shooting took place at an intersection near the Jewish settlement of Beit Arava, in the area of the Palestinian city of Jericho, the Israeli army and medical services said.
The 27-year-old man was seriously injured and taken to the hospital in critical condition while medical teams tried to revive him, said Israeli emergency medical services Magen David Adom (MDA) and United Hatzalah. However, the victim did not survive.
According to the Israeli army, the perpetrators of the attack were several people who fired from a vehicle and then fled the scene.
Since Sunday, there has been a new peak of violence in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after a gunman killed two Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Huwara, near the city of Nablus, in the north of the West Bank.
After that, groups of settlers demanded revenge and around 400 people attacked the city, where they burned houses, cars and forced the evacuation of Palestinian families.
According to Israeli media and analysts, it was the biggest attack by settlers in decades and resulted in the death of one Palestinian and more than 300 injuries, while the attacks spread to other Palestinian towns in the northern West Bank.
The responses of inhabitants of Israeli settlements in the West Bank to the Palestinian attack revealed, however, the first cracks in Tel Aviv’s government coalition, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for calm, while representatives of ultra-Orthodox far-right parties praised the way in which colonists reacted.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Israeli government for what he considered “terrorist acts carried out by settlers under the protection of the occupying forces”.
Violence broke out shortly after the Jordanian government hosted, in the seaside resort of Aqaba, on the Red Sea, a round of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, mediated by the United States, with the aim of reducing tensions before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The escalation of violence has been reflected in attacks by both settlers and Palestinians, as well as intense incursions, often with armed clashes, which the Israeli Army has been carrying out regularly for the past year in the West Bank, especially in the north, in the area of Nablus and Jenin.
So far this year alone, the conflict has resulted in 63 Palestinians killed in the West Bank, the deadliest start to a year in the region since 2000.
In turn, with today’s death, 14 people died on the Israeli side, most of them victims of attacks in occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinians claim the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – areas captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967 – for a future state.
About 700,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The vast majority of the international community considers Israel’s settlements to be “illegal”, which create “obstacles to peace”.