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Palestinian man, Israeli child die as bloodshed rises


JERUSALEM — An Israeli settler fatally shot a Palestinian in the northern West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian health officials said, while a child wounded in a car-ramming in Jerusalem died a day after the attack.

Also Saturday, the Israeli military said Palestinian militants fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip that was intercepted by Israeli aerial defenses. The rocket set off warning sirens in southern Israel communities.

Palestinian officials said Methqal Rayan, 27, was shot in the head and died upon arrival at the hospital in the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan near Salfit town.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, said armed settlers entered the village and opened fire at a group of residents working their land. Video by the village’s council purportedly shows the settlers firing at least 10 gunshots toward the residents.

Israeli police have opened an investigation into the shooting of the Palestinian.

In Israel, Shaare Tzedek hospital said Asher Menachem, 8, died after doctors fought for hours to save his life. His 6-year-old brother and an adult male were killed immediately in the car-ramming attack.

The deaths are the latest in bloodshed that has been rising sharply in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in recent months.

Hostilities have increased since Israel stepped up raids in the occupied West Bank last spring, following a series of deadly Palestinian attacks inside Israel.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in those territories since 2004, according to leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem. Last year, 30 people were killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

So far this year, 45 Palestinians have been killed, according to a count by The Associated Press — 10 of them in a gunfight last month during an army raid in Jenin in the West Bank.

On the Israeli side, nine Israelis and a Ukrainian national were killed in two separate Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem, including Friday’s car-ramming that was carried out by Hussein Qarara.

Qaraqa’s family says he was born in Jerusalem and lived in Issawiya neighborhood, although he has family in the Dheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem. His uncle, Adnan Qaraqa in Bethlehem, told The Associated Press that Hussein suffered from severe psychiatric issues.

The uncle said the mental problems started in 2008, when Hussein was arrested for the first of several minor offenses that included getting into fights and threatening police officers. Qaraqa said Israeli interrogators badly beat Hussein in detention and he emerged mentally unstable. A few years later, he was working at a construction site and fell from a crane — an injury that severely worsened his mental state, the uncle said.

Qaraqa said Hussein was in and out of psychiatric wards for years and had been released from a psychiatric hospital after a month-long stay just two days before committing the attack Friday.

Hussein’s mother, father, wife and siblings in Issawiya have been detained for interrogation.

Associated Press writer Fares Akram in Hamilton, Ontario, contributed to this report.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.