The United Nations Mideast peace envoy warned against escalating tensions on Friday after Palestin-ian gunmen killed an Israeli in the occupied West Bank and Jewish settlers were accused of attacking Arab villages in the aftermath.
Yehuda Dimentman, 25, was killed on Thursday in an ambush on his car as he left Homesh, an Is-raeli settlement in the northern West Bank that was evacuated in 2005 and is now home to a religious seminary.
On Friday, hundreds of mourners boarded ar-moured buses to Homesh for a memorial service at which some called for the settlement to be re-established.
Even as the procession took place, Palestinians reported Jewish settlers attacking nearby villages, shooting, hurling stones and injuring one man in his home in Qaryut. Settler leaders said Palestinians also threw rocks at Israelis.
Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator, said he was “alarmed” by the escalation. “Last night, Palestinian assailants opened fire toward an Israeli vehicle near Nablus in which one Israeli was killed and two others injured. Since this morning there have been several retaliatory attacks by Israeli set-tlers against Palestinians,” he said. “These tragic incidents, and numerous others in recent weeks, highlight the volatility of the current situation.”
No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the latest shooting, which follows several Palestin-ian attacks on Israelis in recent weeks. Palestinians also complain of attacks by Jewish settlers, whose residence in the West Bank the international com-munity considers illegal.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a former head of the West Bank’s main settler movement, sent his “deepest condolences” to Dimentman’s fam-ily on Friday.—AP