AL MUGHAYYIR: Israel launched a massive manhunt in the occupied West Bank on Friday after an Israeli teenager went missing, with the search party clashing with Palestinian villagers, sources from both sides said.

Benjamin Achimeir, 14, went missing from Malachi Hashalom, an outpost near Ramallah, the Israeli army and a family member said.

The Israeli army said that air, ground, police and other forces were involved in the search, “blocking roads and scanning the area”.

Thousands of people joined them, said Israel Ganz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council which provides services to Israeli settlements in the area.

“Thousands of volunteers from across the country are searching together with army units and the council,” he said in a video statement.

“All possibilities are on the table, and all forces are treating every scenario seriously. We will remain here until we find Benjamin.” Hannah, sister of the missing teenager, said her brother was familiar with the area, where he often herded sheep.

Settler raid

A reporter saw several Jewish settlers who were part of the manhunt raiding the nearby village of Al Mughayyir, some 500 metres west of Malachi Hashalom.

“Settlers raided the town with the excuse of searching for the missing Israeli boy,” village mayor Amin Abu Alyah said.

“They raided the village when the army arrived to back them up.” Armed with guns and stones, the settlers stormed the Palestinian village even as a muezzin urged residents to stay indoors.

In the ensuing violence, at least one person was killed and 25 wounded, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Eight of the wounded were hit with live ammunition, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Late on Friday the army said security forces had moved to disperse “violent riots” in the area, adding that “rocks were hurled at... soldiers, who responded with fire”.

“Forces operated to withdraw Israeli civilians who entered the town of Al-Mughayyir,” it said.

“As of this moment, the violent riots have been dispersed and there are no Israeli civilians present within the town.” The army disclosed that one soldier was taken to hospital after being hurt “as a result of the rock hurling”.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Wheat price crash
Updated 20 May, 2024

Wheat price crash

What the government has done to Punjab’s smallholder wheat growers by staying out of the market amid crashing prices is deplorable.
Afghan corruption
20 May, 2024

Afghan corruption

AMONGST the reasons that the Afghan Taliban marched into Kabul in August 2021 without any resistance to speak of ...
Volleyball triumph
20 May, 2024

Volleyball triumph

IN the last week, while Pakistan’s cricket team savoured a come-from-behind T20 series victory against Ireland,...
Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.