At least two Palestinian workers have lost their lives and five others sustained serious injuries after an Israeli settler ran them over in an apparent hit-and-run incident in the central part of the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian security sources said the workers were struck by a bus, which had been empty of passengers, near a military checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city of Bethlehem, located about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Wednesday morning, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
The sources added that two young men, identified as 29-year-old Ziad Ali Hussein Abiyat and Jaafar Omar Abayat, 30, were killed in the incident, while five people suffered serious injuries.
Israeli police officers reportedly located the bus, but the driver apparently fled on foot.
There have been scores of hit-and-run incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, with most of them going uninvestigated by Israeli authorities.
Back on September 14, a Palestinian worker was seriously injured in a similar incident on a road near the town of Hawara, south of Nablus. The Israeli driver fled the scene.
The Palestinian was going to work when he was run over by the settler, who was driving at high speed.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. All the settlements are illegal under international law.
The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in several resolutions.