A U.S. citizen is one of the latest killed in West Bank violence

A native of Connecticut has been identified as the person shot dead by a suspected Palestinian gunman in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Monday, according to Israeli sources Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His death is the latest in a spate of violence that has claimed Israeli and Palestinian lives.

Elan Ganeles of West Hartford, Connecticut, was visiting Israel for a friend’s wedding when he was killed, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. The 27-year-old was shot dead on a road frequented by international tourists that leads through the West Bank to the Dead Sea. He recently graduated from Columbia University. He will be buried in Israel on Wednesday.

Israeli officials say Ganeles was killed when a gunman opened fire on several motorists. The attack came a day after two Israeli brothers, Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, were shot dead in their car.

After Sunday’s attack, hundreds of Jewish settlers committed a deadly riot and set fire to a nearby Palestinian town of Huawara, where Palestinian Sameh Aqtash was shot dead.

His brother Abdul Monem Aqtash told NPR producer Nuha Musleh that Aqtash recently returned from Turkey, where he volunteered to help victims of the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6. He said Aqtash was a blacksmith and was standing outside his shop when the rioters approached and he was killed.

According to the Israeli military, up to 400 Israeli settlers took part in the unrest. According to the police, three people are under house arrest.

Violence has been building since last spring in the West Bank, which Israel conquered in 1967 and where the Palestinians are trying to build an independent state. After the Palestinian attacks on Israelis, the Israeli military began months of raids that allegedly targeted militants but have often killed civilians. Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering a raid in May. Israel said a soldier probably accidentally shot her.

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According to the Associated Press, 62 Palestinians — about half identified as militants — and 14 Israelis have been killed since the beginning of the year. The United Nations Security Council plans to discuss the violence today and US officials have urged both sides to restore calm. The US helped with Sunday’s talks, which resulted in a statement of broader steps to reduce violence.

Daniel Estrin reported from Tel Aviv.

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