JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli police arrested on Wednesday a Jewish suspect in connection with the deadly stabbing of a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported.
Witnesses said the victim, identified as Ali Hassan Harb, was stabbed on Tuesday while Palestinians tried to remove a group of settlers off their land.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Harb, 28, was stabbed in the heart by a settler. An Israeli police spokesperson originally said it was unclear who had killed Harb and that the incident was under investigation.
The stabbing took place during a time of increased violence in the West Bank and Israel. Since January, Israeli forces have killed at least 46 Palestinians in the West Bank, and 19 people in Israel have been killed in Arab street attacks.
Hundreds of Palestinians marched in Harb’s funeral in the Palestinian town of Iskaka near Salfit in the northern West Bank on Wednesday.
About 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war. Most countries deem Israel’s settlements as illegal under international law, but Israel disputes this.
The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, condemned the attack in a tweet.
“Perpetrators of violence must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice,” he wrote.
(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Writing by Henriette Chacar in Jerusalem; Editing by Leslie Adler)