West Bank on high alert after Palestinian stabs Israeli settler to death


Israeli security forces gather near the site where an Israeli settler was stabbed in the Tapuah junction near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on April 30, 2013.



An Israeli settler was killed on Tuesday by a knife-wielding Palestinian in a stabbing attack at a bus stop in the northern West Bank, police said.

A police spokeswoman, Luba Samri, said the stabbing of 31-year-old Eviatar Borovsky took place near Tapuah junction which lies south of the city of Nablus, saying:

"The Palestinian suspect stabbed an Israeli sitting at a bus stop. He died."

Samri said Israeli border police who responded to the emergency call fired upon the attacker, Samri said, adding:

"He grabbed the [victim's] weapon and fired towards the border police force that was in the area. They fired back and neutralized him."

The gunman was reportedly taken to was taken to an Israeli hospital in Petah Tikvah, near Tel Aviv, to be treated for his wounds and was in police custody. Israeli forces are said to have later raided his home in the northern West Bank.

GlobalPost senior correspondent in Jerusalem, Noga Tarnopolsky, reports the gunman as 24-year-old Salam Za'al. He is a member of Fatah and was recently released from prison, where he was serving a three-year sentence for throwing rocks, she says. His brother was reportedly arrested last Monday by the Palestinian Authority and charged with collaborating with Israel. 

Tensions were high in the wake of the attack, the Jerusalem Post reported. Settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Yitzhar, the hardline settlement where Borovsky lived, wounding two Palestinian girls. At least six residents of Yitzhar were arrested for throwing rocks.

In one instance, Jewish rioters attacked a fellow settler who they mistook as Palestinian, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. The Haaretz website said the rioters yelled "Arab, Arab" and attacked the man with stones. In the Palestinian village of Urif, settlers also tried to set a local mosque on fire

Israeli police and military forces have mobilized in large numbers in anticipation of further violence, Tarnopolsky reports.  

The Shomron Regional Council, in which Yitzhar is located, has called for a protest against Borovsky's murder. 

Borovsky had recently moved to Yitzhar, notorious for being one of the West Bank's most radical and lawless Jewish settlements. A father of five, he was studying to become a medical clown who visits and entertains patients in hospitals.