Israeli teen goes missing in W. Bank; Palestinian killed as settlers storm village

Clashes erupt in al-Mughayyir amid searchers for missing shepherd Benjamin Achimeir, as settlers and troops clash with locals

IDF troops search for a missing 14-year-old boy in the West Bank, April 12, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops search for a missing 14-year-old boy in the West Bank, April 12, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces said on Friday that troops, including special forces, were working alongside police to locate a missing 14-year-old boy in the West Bank, as violent clashes broke out in one of the villages they searched.

Palestinians said settlers rampaged in al-Mughayyir, shooting and setting houses and cars on fire and sparking clashes between Palestinians and soldiers that killed a Palestinian man and wounded 25 others.

The missing Israeli was Jerusalem resident Benjamin Achimeir, who left a farm near the outpost of Malachei Shalom in the early morning hours to go shepherding and has not been seen since. The sheep returned to “Gal Farm” without him, according to police.

The chief of the IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox and the head of the West Bank division, Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf, were at the scene leading the searches, the military said.

Police and military forces were blocking roads in the area. The Shin Bet security agency was also involved in looking for Achimeir.

Malachei Shalom is located near the West Bank town of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah.

The circumstances around the boy’s disappearance were still unknown and the military was not sure if the incident was terror-related.

14-year-old Benjamin Achimeir, who went missing in the West Bank on April 12, 2024. (Israel Police)

Amid the searches, settlers entered al-Mughayyir and clashed with locals, with the Yesh Din rights group reporting they employed live fire.

The IDF said that amid the searches, “violent disturbances erupted at several points in the area,” and that soldiers and Border Police worked to disperse them and get the Israelis out of the Palestinian town.

According to the IDF, troops, not settlers, opened fire at some Palestinians hurling stones at them amid the clashes.

Video posted to X by the rights group showed dark clouds of smoke billowing from burning cars as gunshots rang out. A photo posted by the group showed what appeared to be a crowd of masked settlers.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that one man was brought dead to a hospital and 25 were treated for wounds. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said eight of the injured were hit by live fire from settlers.

The deceased man was later identified by his family as 26-year-old Jehad Abu Alia.

“My son went with others to defend our land and honor, and this is what happened,” his father Afif Abu Alia said from a hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where his son’s corpse had been transported.

The incident was condemned by Mohamed Mustafa, the new Palestinian prime minister.


The IDF said one soldier was lightly injured by a stone hurled at him.

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