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Police Say Settlers Deliberately Shot and Killed West Bank Arab

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Police said Tuesday that they have “conclusive evidence” that a Jewish settler deliberately shot a Palestinian to death in Bani Zeit village in the West Bank last Friday.

Meir Berg, a Hebrew University employee who lives in Pesagot, near Ramallah in the West Bank, is in custody for the murder of Aziz Khamis Arar, 22, of Bani Zeit.

Also being held is Ariel Begun, a yeshiva student from Beit El settlement and the son of former Soviet Jewish refusenik Dov Begun, who immigrated to Israel.

Begun is accused of firing on houses in the Arab village and causing property damage. Both Berg and Begun carried M-16 rifles.

The two were among 11 settlers arrested Friday after a hike that ended in a clash with Arab stone-throwers and the death of Arar.

The police said on-site evidence gathered by the criminal investigation department, plus the eyewitness account of a minor who was a member of the hiking party, conclusively refuted the settlers’ story that they opened fire only after they were stoned by Arab villagers and had their lives threatened.

Of the 11 arrested, four were released over the weekend and the other five are expected to be released shortly.

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