August 23, 2019 / 8:29 AM / 4 months ago

Israeli teenager killed by bomb near settlement: Israeli officials

DEIR IBZI’, West Bank (Reuters) - An Israeli teenager was killed and her father and brother were injured by a Palestinian bomb near a settlement in the occupied West Bank on Friday, Israeli officials said.

Israeli forces gather at the scene of an attack near the Jewish settlement of Dolev in the Israeli-occupied West Bank August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The family were visiting a spring in a popular hiking area when an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up, the Israeli military and paramedics said.

The military said it was being treated as a terrorist attack. It was not immediately clear if the device had been planted in advance or thrown.

Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service confirmed that 17-year-old Rina Shnerb had died at the scene and said her father and brother - named by Israeli media as Rabbi David Eitan, 46, and 21-year-old Dvir - were in serious condition.

A large crowd of mourners gathered later on Friday for the teenager’s funeral in her home town of Lod, where her body was covered in a white shroud adorned with the Star of David.

“This is insane, everything that’s happening here. I still can’t believe it,” said Shnerb’s sister Tamar. “Only yesterday you were here, joyful as always, you were happy and made everyone happy, as you always do.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the family, and said security forces were pursuing the attackers.

“The long arm of Israel reaches all those who seek our lives,” Netanyahu said in a statement, adding: “We will continue to strengthen settlement. We will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies.”

The hilly central region of the West Bank around the settlement of Dolev lies northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, and is studded with olive groves and orchards.

The area saw clashes last year between Palestinians and Israelis, as Palestinian villagers complained that settlers were trying to take over land, including water sources.

On Friday morning, the Israeli military quickly cordoned off the area around the Ein Bobin spring near the Palestinian village of Deir Ibzi’ while soldiers set up checkpoints on roads and searched the area.

An Israeli student, Danny Gonen, was killed at the same spring in 2015 in an attack claimed by a group that said it was affiliated with the Islamist group Hamas.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised the latest attack but did not claim responsibility for it, warning Israel not to “assault our Jerusalem and our sacred sites”.

In a speech in Gaza he said: “I bless this operation and I greet the hands of those who executed it. I pray for God to protect those who stood behind it. Regardless of who they are, they are Palestinians.”

David Friedman, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, tweeted that he was “heartbroken and outraged”. President Donald Trump’s envoy, Jason Greenblatt, urged the Palestinian Authority to “unequivocally condemn” the attack.

Additional reporting by Stephen Farrell in Jerusalem and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by William Maclean and Kevin Liffey

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