Palestinians caused settler car crash deaths: Israel

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 9:11 AM
Palestinians caused settler car crash deaths: Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinians threw a stone at a Jewish settler's car, causing a crash that killed him and his one-year-old son last week, an incident that the army initially said was an accident, Israel's defense ministry said on Wednesday.

Tension has been growing between Palestinians and settlers, both of whom stake claims to the West Bank, as the Palestinian leadership seeks full U.N. membership. Israeli security forces are on high alert for possible violent flare-ups.

Settlers had accused the army of a cover-up. An Israeli military spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the army "categorically rejects accusations of intentionally misleading reports regarding the circumstances of Friday's event."

Asher Palmer and his son died when their car tumbled off a road near the Palestinian city of Hebron after a rock hit Palmer on the head, an official Israeli investigation said. Stone-throwing at Israeli cars are frequent in that area.

Initial examinations into the crash had suggested that no rocks were thrown, the military spokeswoman said.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian medical officials said 8-year-old Farid Jaber, died after he was hit by a settler's car in the Hebron region.

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They said an Israeli ambulance rushed the boy to Jerusalem's biggest hospital but he died.

Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian in the West Bank on Friday during a confrontation with Jewish settlers in his village, where a mosque was burned earlier this month.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Louise Ireland)