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Elderly Palestinian killed by Israeli driver; Hamas warns Israel to ‘pay a price’

Driver flees scene but reports incident to police, says he feared stopping near West Bank town of Sinjil; terror group says ‘comprehensive resistance’ can end ‘settler terror’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is a breaking news editor at the Times of Israel.

Ambulances are seen at the scene of an apparent hit-and-run on Route 60 near the West Bank town of Sinjil, December 24, 2021. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Ambulances are seen at the scene of an apparent hit-and-run on Route 60 near the West Bank town of Sinjil, December 24, 2021. (Screenshot: Twitter)

An elderly Palestinian woman was killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident near Ramallah on Friday morning. Ghadeer Masalmah, 70, was struck by an Israeli driver on Route 60 near the West Bank town of Sinjil. Magen David Adom ambulance medics who arrived at the scene said the woman had no vital signs.

Hamas said the Israeli army and settlers in the West Bank would “pay a price” for the incident.

The Israeli driver who hit Masalmah continued driving to the settlement of Shiloh, while reporting the incident to police. There, he was briefly questioned by officers, and his vehicle was impounded pending further investigation, police said.

The man told officers he feared to stop near the West Bank town following the incident. He was released, but summoned for further investigation, a law enforcement spokesperson said.

Masalmah’s body was taken by the Palestinian Red Cresent ahead of her funeral which took place a few hours later.

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem called the incident “a new crime.”

“The escalation of settler terror against our people in the West Bank will be confronted with the escalation of acts of resistance, and the occupation army and its settlers will pay the price for these crimes,” Qassem said in a statement carried by Palestinian media outlets.

“Unifying field actions and the launching of comprehensive resistance can put an end to settler terror,” he said.

“The continuation of comprehensive resistance in all its forms, especially armed ones, is the practical and real response to the crimes of the occupation and settlers,” the terror group said in a separate statement.

Dozens of Palestinians attended Masalmah’s funeral in Sinjil.

The terror group’s statements come amid a rise in Palestinian attacks, including a deadly shooting committed by a member of Hamas.

But there has also been a noted rise in settler violence toward Palestinians.

Last week, Palestinian terrorists opened fire at a car of students from an illegally constructed yeshiva, or religious school, at Homesh, killing Yehuda Dimentman and wounding two others.

Israeli forces arrested suspects in the attack in a series of raids on Sunday morning. The Shin Bet security service said the terror cell involved in the attack belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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