Israeli killed in Palestinian gun attack in West Bank, military says


JERUSALEM, Dec 16 (Reuters) - An Israeli man was killed and two others were wounded in a Palestinian shooting attack near a Jewish settler outpost in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, an Israeli military spokesman said, amid an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Israeli troops were searching for suspects, who the spokesman said had fired at the Israelis' car as they were leaving a Jewish seminary in the outpost, north of the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The person killed, a man in his 20s, succumbed to gunshot wounds while being rushed to hospital, Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service said. The two injured Israelis had been struck by shards of glass and were lightly wounded, the service added.

Sending his condolences to the families of those killed or injured, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett posted on Twitter: "Security forces will soon get their hands on the terrorists and we'll ensure that justice is served."

Violence has simmered in the occupied West Bank, part of territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, since U.S.-sponsored peace talks broke down in 2014. The Palestinians seek the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem for a future state.

The shooting occurred near Homesh, a settler outpost that was established without government permission and whose residents were evacuated in 2005. The area houses an active yeshiva, or seminary, where the three Israelis studied, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Amnon Shefler told reporters.

The incident, which follows several Palestinian attacks on Israelis in East Jerusalem in recent weeks, drew praise from the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. No group claimed responsibility.

Palestinians frequently complain of intimidation by Israeli troops and attacks by settlers, whose residence in the West Bank the international community considers illegal. Last week, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian during clashes at an anti-settlement protest.

Israel disputes that the settlements are illegal, citing historical, biblical and political links to the West Bank, as well as its security needs.

Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis

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