JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Sunday that its forces arrested four Palestinian suspects believed to have taken part in a deadly shooting in the occupied West Bank.
In Thursday’s incident, at least one Palestinian gunman opened fire on a car filled with Jewish seminary students next to a West Bank settlement outpost. Yehuda Dimentman, 25, was killed and two others were wounded near Homesh, which is considered illegal by the Israeli government.
The army said the suspects were arrested in the northern West Bank village of Silat al-Haaretia, near Jenin, and “were transferred to the security forces for further investigation and the weapon of the suspect who carried out the shooting was captured.”
Israeli authorities did not immediately identify the suspects. The Israeli border police released a photo of a cache of assault rifles and ammunition it said belonged to the suspects.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated the security forces for the arrest, adding that “every terrorist should know that the state of Israel will settle the score with him.”
Homesh, in the northern West Bank, was dismantled as part of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. But in recent years, Israeli settlers have returned to pray and established an unauthorized outpost at the site. The car Dimentman was traveling in was riddled with bullets after leaving a Jewish seminary in the outpost where he had been studying.
The Israeli military said that early Sunday, hundreds of setters entered the outpost, trying to establish “illegal structures” at the site. It said Israeli forces attempted to block the crowd, and settlers vandalized military property and blocked the movement of troops. It said one soldier was lightly wounded after being hit by a resident's vehicle.
The developments come after weeks of spiking Israeli-Palestinian violence. Earlier this month, a Palestinian attacker stabbed and seriously wounded an ultra-Orthodox Jew outside Jerusalem’s Old City. And just over a week before that, a Hamas militant opened fire in the Old City, killing an Israeli man.
At the same time, settler violence against Palestinians has risen, particularly in the northern West Bank.
Israel captured east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and the territories are now home to over 700,000 Israel settlers. Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements illegal obstacles to peace.
The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem and the West Bank as parts of a future independent state.
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