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Hundreds of Israeli settlers attack Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank after missing Israeli boy found dead

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Hundreds of Israeli settlers surrounded Palestinian villages and attacked residents across the occupied West Bank, eyewitnesses told CNN, after an Israeli boy who had gone missing from a settlement was found dead.

The body of Binyamin Achimair, 14, was found in the area of Malachei Ha’Shalom, with the Israeli military saying he was killed in a “terrorist attack.”

It is unclear yet what was the cause of death, and the IDF is yet to provide evidence that this was a “terrorist attack.” CNN has reached out for clarity.

Soon after, videos obtained by CNN show settlers setting houses and cars ablaze in the village of Duma, southeast of Nablus. Footage shows heavy smoke engulfing the air, as settlers fire gunshots in the area. Eyewitnesses said settlers stormed people’s houses, resulting in clashes with Palestinians.

In one video obtained by CNN from Duma, one man described the situation as a “street war.”

Videos on social media show clashes between Palestinians and settlers in the villages of Deir Dibwan and Beitin, east of Ramallah. Palestinians are seen lobbing rocks at the settlers, and Israeli military vehicles firing tear gas to disperse the crowds.

The latest attacks by settlers come a day after a large-scale attack in the village of Al-Mughayyir east of Ramallah, leaving one Palestinian man dead, amid the search for Achimair. About 25 others were also injured in the rampage, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that authorities were searching for whoever killed Achimair, urging Israelis to not obstruct them.

“The abominable murder of the boy Binyamin Achimair, may God avenge his blood, is a serious crime. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s office (PMO) said in a statement.

“IDF and Shin Bet forces are in an extensive pursuit of the despicable murderers and all those who cooperated with them,” it continued.

The prime minister said Israeli security forces carry out “intense operational and intelligence activity” in the area and in Palestinian villages, urging the citizens of Israel to allow them to “do their work unhindered”.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday urged the public to avoid taking the law into their own hands.

“I appeal to the public, let the security forces act quickly in the hunt for the terrorists - revenge actions will make it difficult for our fighters in their mission - the law must not be taken into one’s hands,” Gallant said in a post on X.

Videos obtained by CNN show increased Israeli military presence at a checkpoint near the town of Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement Saturday that over a dozen Palestinians arrived at hospitals across the West Bank, most wounded by gunfire.

Violence has been rising in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the October 7 attacks. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah says at least 462 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or in settler attacks.

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