Palestinian farmer killed after mob attacks group of Jewish children hiking in West Bank

(JTA) – A Palestinian farmer was shot and killed after a group of Palestinians threw rocks at a group of Jewish children and their adult escorts hiking in the West Bank.

The children were on a hike to celebrate the bar mitzvah of one of the children, and walked near the Palestinian village of Qusra, located near Nablus in the northern West Bank, according to reports.

Parents escorting the hiking children reportedly said at least 30 Palestinian men surrounded them and started throwing rocks. An escort on the hike, one of two carrying a gun, fired into the crowd to break it up, killing one of the rock throwers.

Palestinian sources identified the dead man as Mahmoud Odeh, 48, a farmer from Qusra. Two Jewish fathers escorting the hikers also were injured in the clashes.

The parent escorts ushered the boys into a cave to keep them safe until Israeli security forces arrived, according to reports. Security forces reportedly used riot dispersal methods, including tear gas, on both sides to stop the clashes.

The Israel Defense Forces said that the Israeli father escorting the students shot at Odeh in “self-defence.”

Palestinian reports said Odeh, a farmer, was working in his field when the hikers arrived.

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