Israeli settler under attack by rock throwers kills Palestinian man, injures journalist

(JTA) – An Israeli settler opened fire on a group of Palestinians throwing rocks at his car, killing one and injuring a journalist.

The shooter, a father of eight from Itamar in the West Bank who was on his way home from the supermarket, said he felt his life was in danger when he opened fire Thursday afternoon into a crowd of 200 Palestinians who were protesting in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, according to reports citing the Israel Defense Forces.

The man and his wife, who also was in the car, told Ynet that the rioters encircled the car and they feared they would be lynched. Both the front and back windshield were smashed and the sides of the car pocked with dents from rocks, according to reports.

The killed Palestinian was identified by the Palestinian Maan news agency as Muataz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, from the Nablus-area village of Beita. He was shot in the head and died of his wounds at the scene. The injured journalist was identified as Associated Press photographer Majdi Eshtiya, who was shot in the hand.

Following the shooting, the Israel Defense Forces broke up the mob using non-lethal riot-dispersal methods, according to reports.

A similar incident occurred the day before near the Palestinian village of Silwad in the West Bank. The Israeli settler who shot and wounded a Palestinian man who threw rocks at his car was detained, but was released after proving it was in self-defence. The Palestinian rock thrower also was detained.

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