WEST BANK (Dispatches) – A Palestinian man has been martyred after being stabbed in the heart by a Zionist settler, the Palestinian ministry of health reported.
Ali Hassan Harb, 27, was pronounced dead when he arrived at the Martyr Yasser Arafat Hospital in Salfit in the occupied West Bank, the health ministry said.
The victim’s uncle, Naim Harb, who was present at the scene of the incident when it occurred, told Middle East Eye that the family received a call that a group of settlers was attacking the family’s land, which is adjacent to the illegal settlement of Ariel, and that they were dislodging a wooden house the family had built there.
Harb added that the family and a number of villagers - about 10, including Ali - rushed to the land to defend it.
The settlers left when they saw them approaching but came back moments later accompanied by members of the settlement’s security, who started shooting in the air. A Zionist soldier also arrived with them.
The settlers then resumed their attacks, assaulting the Palestinian men before suddenly one of the settlers approached Ali and stabbed him directly in the heart.
“We heard that settlers came onto our land. We went there, me, Ali, and three others. When we got there we saw settlers,” said a Palestinian resident under the condition of anonymity, Reuters reported.
Other witnesses said security guards from the settlement started firing at the Palestinians, who were trying to reach the scene.
Both the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas condemned the grisly murder.
The killing is “an extension of the dirty war waged by the settlers against our people” and a result of the Zionist regime’s policy that permits settlers “to practice organized terrorism,” Hamas said in a statement.
Nearly 700,000 Zionists live in hundreds of illegal settlements built since the regime’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank.
Settler violence against Palestinians is a daily occurrence across the West Bank and elsewhere throughout the occupied territories.
B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, has documented more than 600 violent incidents by settlers against Palestinians since 2020, including nearly 200 physical assaults.