Israeli army says accidentally kills West Bank settler

JERUSALEM Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:57am GMT

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers killed a Jewish settler in the occupied West Bank on Friday after mistaking him for a Palestinian militant, the army and settler leaders said.

Troops manning a checkpoint near the city of Hebron opened fire on the settler's car because it was driving "fast and in a suspicious way and (they) saw a threat to their lives," a military spokesman said.

Palestinians fighting for statehood in the West Bank often use vehicles for attacks on Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Some 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war.

Two other people in the settler's car were wounded in the shooting, the spokesman said. An Israeli soldier was also injured when he was accidentally hit by a truck passing the scene.

The settler was among the founders of nearby Ottniel settlement, its spokesman, Yehuda Glick, told Israel's Army Radio. Glick said that the settler and the two others in his car were driving to early morning prayers in Hebron.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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