Palestinian man shot dead and Israeli child dies as bloodshed rises on West Bank

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An Israeli settler shot dead a Palestinian in the northern West Bank while a child wounded in a car-ramming in Jerusalem died a day after the attack.

Also on Saturday, the Israeli military said Palestinian militants fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip that was intercepted by Israeli aerial defences.

The rocket set off warning sirens in southern Israel communities.

Palestinian officials said Methqal Rayan, 27, was shot in the head and died upon arrival at the hospital in the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan near Salfit town.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, said armed settlers entered the village and opened fire on a group of residents working on their land.

Video by the village’s council purportedly shows the settlers firing at least 10 gunshots toward the residents.

Israeli police have opened an investigation into the shooting of the Palestinian.

Palestine bloodshed
A masked Palestinian woman holds a gun as Palestinian gunmen gather in solidarity with Palestinians that where killed in clashes with Israeli troops, in the West Bank city of Nablus (Majdi Mohammed/AP)

His six-year-old brother and an adult man were killed immediately in the car-ramming attack.

The deaths are the latest in bloodshed that has been rising sharply in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in recent months.

Hostilities have increased since Israel stepped up raids in the occupied West Bank last spring, following a series of deadly Palestinian attacks inside Israel.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in those territories since 2004, according to leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Last year, 30 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

So far this year, 45 Palestinians have been killed, according to a count by The Associated Press – 10 of them in a gunfight last month during an army raid in Jenin in the West Bank.

Palestine protests
Israeli police march in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

His family says he was born in Jerusalem and lived in Issawiya neighborhood, although he has family in the Dheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem.

His uncle, Adnan Qaraqa in Bethlehem, told The Associated Press news agency that he suffered from severe psychiatric issues.

The uncle said the mental problems started in 2008, when Qarara was arrested for the first of several minor offences that included getting into fights and threatening police officers.

Mr Qaraqa said Israeli interrogators badly beat Qarara in detention and he emerged mentally unstable.

A few years later, he was working at a construction site and fell from a crane – an injury that severely worsened his mental state, the uncle said.

Mr Qaraqa said Qarara. was in and out of psychiatric wards for years and had been released from a psychiatric hospital after a month-long stay just two days before committing the attack Friday.

Qarara’s mother, father, wife and siblings in Issawiya have been detained for interrogation.

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