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Funeral held for Israeli killed in West Bank gun attack

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By Reuters
Funeral held for Israeli killed in West Bank gun attack
Funeral held for Israeli killed in West Bank gun attack   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

HOMESH, West Bank – Hundreds of mourners on Friday attended the funeral procession of an Israeli man who was shot dead during an attack near a Jewish settlement outpost in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Yehuda Dimentman, 25, was killed on Thursday by Palestinian gunmen who ambushed his car as it left a religious seminary near the road between Jenin and Nablus, an Israeli military spokesman said.

Two other Israelis were wounded in the attack, which comes amid an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Dimentman was a student at the seminary in Homesh, a settlement which was established without government permission and whose residents were evacuated in 2005.

On Friday armoured buses were used to ferry mourners to Homesh for a memorial service at which some called for the settlement to be re-established. Dimentman’s body was not brought to Homesh – his funeral was due to be held in Jerusalem later on Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a former head of the West Bank’s main settler movement, sent his “deepest condolences” to Dimentman’s family. “We will not be silent until we have caught and dealt with the vile murderers,” he said on Twitter.

Tension between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, police and soldiers mounted in the aftermath. The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that settlers attacked the village of Burqa near Homesh, shooting towards residents.

There were also scuffles on Friday between Palestinians and police in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The Homesh attack follows several Palestinian attacks on Israelis in recent weeks. Palestinians also complain of attacks by settlers, whose residence in the West Bank the international community considers illegal.

Although no Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for the killing, a senior Hamas leader defended it.

“The Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves by all means,” Mahmoud al-Zahar told Reuters at a Gaza rally to mark the anniversary of Hamas’s creation in 1987.