Settler family mourns 14-year-old shepherd killed in West Bank

The teenager was killed last week outside his settlement


An Israeli soldier watches over a Palestinian village after it was stormed by Israeli settlers (Photo: Getty Images)

The family of a Jewish teenage shepherd seemingly murdered in the West Bank by Palestinian terrorists have described him as a beloved “lively spirit” at his funeral.

Benjamin Achimeir, 14, was killed on Friday after setting out alone in the early hours of the morning with his sheep from the West Bank settlement in which he lived.

The next day, Achimeir’s body was spotted near the farm from which he went missing by a drone flown by Israel’s Border Defense Corps.

His initial disappearance, and the later discovery of his body, sparked a series of attacks by Israeli settlers against neighbouring Palestinian communities.

On Friday, dozens of Jewish settlers stormed the village of al-Mughayyir armed with guns and stones.

One man, Jehad Abu Alia, 26, was killed, and 25 more were injured in the raid.

Settlers then launched another round of violence, with six Palestinians reportedly shot.

Yesh Din, an Israeli NGO, says that at least ten Palestinian villages were attacked over the two days.

The IDF said it had opened fire at stone-throwing Palestinians as "violent disturbances erupted at several points in the area".

On Sunday, Achimeir’s funeral, attended by Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef and Religious Zionism MK Zvi Sukkot, was held in Jerusalem.

His mother Miriam said her son had sacrificed his life for his beliefs.

“You were so kind, you always thought of others and took everyone into account,” she said.

"You made sure not to hurt anyone, not even joking at others’ expense.”

Avinoam, his brother, said: “Bini, my beloved and sweet brother. You were always the lively spirit in the house, the one who helped everyone and brought us together.

"You always wanted us to travel with you, and I, like a fool, didn’t have time for that, I’m sorry Bini. You always helped me.”

The family lives in the unauthorised settlement of Malachei Shalom, northeast of Ramallah.

Several Israelis moved to the location, a former army base, in 2015 and built an outpost in memory of two Jewish men slain in terror attacks.

The IDF described the site as an "illegal invasion of a military area" and made several attempts to evict its residents, but also provided them with water and electricity nonetheless, Ha’aretz reported.

Following the settler attacks launched after Achimeir’s disappearance, Benjamin Netanyahu appealed for restraint.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meanwhile warned: “Revenge attacks will make it harder for our forces in their mission. Do not take the law into your own hands.”

Settler violence has soared in the months following the October 7 attack.

According to the United Nations, there have been 727 attacks against Palestinians since the beginning of the war.

In February, Britain imposed sanctions on four Israelis who were accused of committing human rights abuses against Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

"We should be clear about what is happening here,” Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

"Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs. This behaviour is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence.”

The IDF and Shin Bet say they are still searching for Achimeir’s killers.

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