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Palestinian killed by Israeli settler in illegal Hebron outpost after alleged stab attack

March 1, 2017 4:35 P.M. (Updated: March 2, 2017 1:05 P.M.)
A view of the South Hebron Hills. (MaanImages/ Charlie Hoyle, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A young Palestinian man was shot and killed by an Israeli settler in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron after allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack on Wednesday afternoon, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that an "attacker armed with a knife entered a house" in the illegal settlement outpost of Havat More in the Masafer Yatta area -- also known as the South Hebron Hills -- and stabbed a settler, injuring him lightly.

The settler then shot towards the Palestinian, the spokesperson added, killing him.

The spokesperson said that they were not aware of whether the Israeli army was investigating the case.

A relative told Ma'an that the slain Palestinian was 25-year-old Saadi Mahmoud Ali Qaisiya, from the village of al-Dhahiriya west of Masafer Yatta.

According to Ma'an documentation, Qaisiya is the tenth Palestinian to have been killed by an Israeli since the beginning of the year. Six Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

In 2016, Ma'an recorded the deaths of 112 Palestinians and 15 Israelis due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Masafer Yatta area is one of a number of tracts of land in the West Bank to have been declared a “firing zone” in the 1970s.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Palestinians are prohibited from entering these areas without rarely granted permission from Israeli authorities, which has had “a serious humanitarian impact on Palestinian civilians and dramatically reduced the land available to them for residential and livelihood uses.”

Masafer Yatta residents were expelled at the time of the establishment of the firing zone and eventually allowed back following a long court battle, but are under the constant threat of demolition or being expelled.

Meanwhile, the presence of around 3,000 Israeli settlers illegally living in the area has restricted Palestinian growth over the past decade while the Israeli authorities reallocate local resources for settlement expansion.

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