Palestinian gunman, Israeli man, dead in West Bank attack

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian militant fired at the entrance to an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank Saturday evening, killing an Israeli man and wounding several civilians before a security guard shot him dead, the Israeli military said.

Soldiers were conducting additional searches around the Kiryat Arba settlement near the Palestinian city of Hebron in the southern West Bank.

Bloodshed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem has persisted for weeks, making 2022 the deadliest there since 2015.

Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom initially reported four people were wounded, including an Israeli man who was in serious condition. Later, Haddasah hospital in Jerusalem said the 50-year-old man had died.

The wounded included a Palestinian man who will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, which controls parts of the West Bank, for treatment, it said.

All other injured were taken to Hadassah hospital, which said that injuries varied from severe to moderate.

When the shooting happened, a far-right Israeli member of parliament claimed that the attack targeted his house in the settlement, but the military did not confirm that.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a lawmaker who has called for deporting Arab politician s and brandished a pistol during public run-ins with Palestinians, wrote on Twitter, “My family is currently secured under a shooting attack on our home in Givat Avot.”

The Israeli military has been conducting nightly raids in the West Bank in what it says is a bid to dismantle militant networks and thwart attacks. The raids have ratcheted up tensions in the area and have been met by a series of Palestinian shooting attacks that killed 19 people in Israel in the spring.

The raids, ensuing clashes, and attacks have killed more than 125 Palestinians this year. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Mideast envoy, Tor Wennesland, said 2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the U.N. started tracking fatalities in 2005, and he called for immediate action to calm “an explosive situation” and move toward renewing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

In the past month, the envoy said 32 Palestinians including six children were killed by Israeli security forces and 311 injured during demonstrations, clashes, search-and-arrest operations, attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis.

Two Israeli forces personnel were killed and 25 Israeli civilians were injured by Palestinians during shooting and ramming attacks, clashes, the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails and other incidents during the same period, the envoy, Wennesland, told the U.N. Security Council.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want the territory along with the Gaza Strip for a future state, with a capital in east Jerusalem. Peace talks between the two sides ground to a halt more than a decade ago.

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