Missing Israeli teen found dead in West Bank, military says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 13, 2024 | 7:52 AM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli military and police said the body of a missing Israeli teenager who was likely killed in a Palestinian attack was found on Saturday in the occupied West Bank, in an incident that could trigger further violence.

The 14-year-old went missing on Friday, authorities said, and they described his killing as “a terrorist attack”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the assailants would be found and he called on Israelis not to get in the way of security forces.

As Israeli forces searched for the teen overnight on Friday, Jewish settlers in the area entered a nearby Palestinian village and set houses and cars ablaze. One person was killed in that rampage, Palestinian medics said, though it was unclear whether he was shot by Israeli forces or settlers.

Settlers blocked entrances to two more towns in the area on Saturday and threw stones at passing vehicles, Palestinian official news agency Wafa said.

Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian group fighting Israeli forces on a mission to crush its militants in Gaza, issued a statement on Saturday urging Palestinians in the West Bank to fight against what it described as “settler militias”.

Violence in the West Bank was already on the rise before the Gaza war broke out on Oct. 7 with Hamas’ shock attack in southern Israel. It has since increased, with stepped-up Israeli raids and Palestinian street attacks.

The West Bank is among the territories the Palestinians seek for a state. Most countries around the world view Israeli settlements there as illegal, a view that Israel disputes.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Cairo; Editing by Hugh Lawson)