Palestinian Killed in Reprisal for Murder of Hebron Settler

Hebron was the site of renewed violence with the murder of a Jewish settler in the Israeli-controlled portion of the volatile West Bank town.

Soon after the settler was found murdered Monday, a Palestinian was found killed in what was apparently a revenge attack.

Israeli and Palestinian security forces worked together to apprehend those responsible for the settler’s slaying. Israel blamed Palestinian militants, who are believed to have fled to the area of Hebron under Palestinian control.

No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Israeli army officers said the victim, identified as Dan Vargas, a 29-year-old resident of Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron, was shot at close range before his body was dumped on a roadside from a speeding car.

A security guard at a power station in Hebron, Vargas was a married father of one who was expecting a second child.

Army officials said they believed Vargas had left work when he was intercepted by the gunmen.

The attack came one day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from the United States to begin seeking support for the peace accord he signed last Friday in Washington with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

The agreement calls for a further Israeli redeployment from 13 percent of the West Bank in exchange for specific Palestinian steps to fulfill their security commitments.

Jewish settler leaders pointed to Monday’s shooting as proof that the latest accord could not stop terror. Kiryat Arba residents gathered near the site of the attack to protest the agreement.

Hours after his murder, police found the body of a Palestinian man near the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

The body was found after police received an anonymous phone call from a Hebrew- speaking man who said a Palestinian had been killed and his body left near Itamar to avenge the Hebron slaying.

The victim was identified as Mohammad Dalmout, 72, from a village near Itamar. He had been beaten to death with a rock.

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