Four Israelis killed in shooting near West Bank settlement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned 'all options are open'

Security personnel work at the scene of the shooting near the Israeli settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank. Reuters
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned “all options are open” after four Israelis were killed in a shooting near the northern West Bank settlement of Eli on Tuesday afternoon.

Four others were injured, one of whom is in a serious condition. All have been taken to hospital.

Israel's military says the attack occurred next to a petrol station.

Hundreds of Israeli settlers vandalised Palestinian property throughout the West Bank on Tuesday evening, setting fire to fields and attacking drivers, Wafa reported.

“Anyone who harms us is either in prison or in a grave. This will also be the case here,” Mr Netanyahu said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“All options are open.”

The attack comes a day after a major Israeli raid on the northern West Bank city of Jenin, in which six Palestinians were killed and more than 90 were injured. Eight Israeli soldiers were injured.

The military said one of the attackers was shot by an armed civilian. The militant group Hamas said it was a response to “the crimes of the [Israeli] occupation” following the Jenin raid.

Medics at the scene said they had treated people with gunshot wounds outside the petrol station and a nearby restaurant, according to Kan, which added that another gunman had fled the scene. He was later killed by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed his death and said he had suffered gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and shoulder.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency said he had been shot after Israeli forces intercepted his vehicle, while Israeli media reported the second gunman had stolen a car from the scene of the attack.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant will hold a security assessment of the attack.

Earlier in the day, while visiting troops injured in Monday's Jenin raid, Mr Gallant was quoted as saying that “all options are on the table”, in what could be a sign that the Israeli government is considering a larger operation.

Israeli settlers later attacked the nearby Palestinian village of Burin, south of Nablus, Wafa reported.

Palestinian-registered vehicles between Huwara and Qaliqiya were also attacked, it added.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is travelling to the scene of the attack, according to local media reports. Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right Minister of National Security, will also be visiting the area.

The minister, who is poised to wield significant influence over the construction of new Israeli settlements, lives in the settlement of Kedumim, also in the occupied northern West Bank.

Violence is a daily occurrence in the West Bank, which has been the site of almost daily Israeli army raids in a crackdown on Palestinian militant groups, particularly in Jenin and Nablus.

While Israel says its targets are those suspected of plotting attacks in Israel, civilians, including children and the elderly, have also been killed.

A total of 171 Palestinians have been killed so far this year, the health ministry said on Tuesday evening.

Israelis have also been killed, including a British-Israeli woman and her two daughters, who were shot dead near a settlement in April.

Two brothers were also shot dead in Huwara in February, which prompted a settler rampage through the town.

Updated: June 21, 2023, 3:28 AM