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In shift, US labels Israeli settler violence a 'terror attack'

The State Department described the killing of a 19-year-old Palestinian as a "terror attack," using a term it typically reserves for attacks on Israeli civilians.
Mourners carry the body of 19-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan.

WASHINGTON — The State Department said Monday its rare use of the word “terror” to describe an Israeli settler attack that killed a young Palestinian reflects the administration’s “great concern” over a spate of violence in the West Bank

The Palestinian Health Ministry said late Friday that a group of Israeli settlers fatally shot 19-year-old Qusai Jamal Maatan and wounded several others in an attack on the outskirts of Burqa, a village in the central West Bank near Ramallah. 

Residents told the Haaretz newspaper that the clashes broke out after settlers from the nearby Oz Zion outpost brought a herd of sheep to graze on Palestinian land. The residents accused the settlers of vandalizing property, throwing stones, and shooting at Maatan and others.  

On Saturday morning, Israeli police said they arrested two settlers and detained five Palestinians over the violent altercation. Lawyers for the settlers said they were acting in self-defense after being pelted with rocks.   

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