Know More About Palestine

Monday April 25, 2011 9:00 AM (EST+7)
Israeli shot by police in West Bank, army says

Read more: Israeli dead, Israeli casualties, Josephs Tomb, Nablus, shooting, police, security, Passover, Pesach

NABLUS, West Bank, April 24 (Hassan Titi/Reuters) - A Palestinian policeman shot dead an Israeli and wounded four others after they entered a holy site in a West Bank city without permission on Sunday, the Israeli military said.

The group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshippers were shot at Joseph's Tomb, which some Jews believe to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch, in the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The man killed, Ben-Yosef Livnat, was in his mid-twenties and a nephew of Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

An Israeli civilian was killed and four others injured after entering Joseph's Tomb in Nablus un-permitted, the military said in a statement in English.

The military said it had been notified by Palestinian officials that the civilians were shot by a Palestinian policeman who, after identifying suspicious movements, fired in their direction.

Israeli and Palestinian security officials will meet to investigate the shooting, the statement said.

The governor of Nablus, Jibreen al-Bakri, said the group of Israelis had entered the area without coordinating it with the Palestinian Authority, as is the understanding with Israel.

We have detained the forces responsible for securing the area and are investigating what happened, Bakri told Reuters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the killing and demanded that the Palestinian Authority take harsh steps against the perpetrators who carried out the criminal act against Jewish worshippers.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said a lack of coordination did not justify the shooting and called on the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary measures against those responsible.

A tearful Livnat said at her nephew's funeral in Jerusalem that he was an innocent victim murdered by a terrorist in the guise of a Palestinian policeman while on his way to prayers during the Passover holiday.

It was the first reported fatal attack on Israelis in the West Bank since the killing of five family members last month in the settlement of Itamar in a nearby area in the central West Bank.

After Sunday's incident, some settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Hawara checkpoint close to Nablus, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Some 500,000 settlers live among 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians say the presence of the enclaves will deny them a viable state on land Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Robert Woodward)






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