Two Israeli settlers were shot and killed in a shooting between the illegal Israeli settlements of Itamar and Elon Moreh near Nablus in the northern West Bank on Thursday evening, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.
An Israeli army spokesperson said several shots were fired at the settlers’ car from a passing vehicle, which fled to a nearby Palestinian village following the shooting.
Two adults were killed in the shooting, while Israeli media has reported that up to four children were in the car, but left unharmed.
The spokesperson said Israeli forces “are conducting a search of the area” to investigate the incident.
Tensions between Israeli settlers and Palestinians have been running high in recent weeks, as right-wing groups have increasingly urged their supporters to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, which has sparked clashes and spurred political debates around what Palestinians see as a challenge to the status quo in Israeli policies concerning the holy site.
Israeli authorities imposed severe restrictions on Palestinian entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the fourth day in a row on Wednesday, while Israelis entered the compound under armed police escort.
The United Nation’s Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented fourteen Palestinian attacks which resulted in injury to settlers or damage to their property between Sept. 15 -28, marking the highest weekly average of such attacks since February.
Palestinians have been responsible for the deaths of four Israelis within the occupied Palestinian territories this year, according to OCHA documentation, while at least 24 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank.
The already contentious relationship between Palestinians and Israeli settlers has been particularly strained in Nablus in recent months, as Israeli settlers set fire to a house on July 30 in Duma, a small village within the district, burning a toddler alive, and killing the mother and father of the family.
The only remaining survivor of the attack is the family’s 4-year-old son, Ahmad Dawabsha.