Israeli teenage girl killed in a bomb attack on the West Bank

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The mother (left) and family of Rina Shnerb mourn her funeral in the Israeli city of Lod (August 23, 2019)

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AFP

Image caption

Thousands attended Rina Shnerb's funeral in her hometown of Lod

A 17-year-old Israeli girl was killed in a bomb attack near a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army says.

Rina Shnerb walked with her brother Dvir and her father Eitan near a natural spring outside of Dolev when an improvised explosive exploded.

Dvir and Eitan were seriously injured in the explosion and were evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a "harsh terrorist attack".

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Media captionIsraeli troops are looking for a hilly area around the spring where the explosion took place

"We will continue to strengthen the settlement. We will deepen our roots and attack our enemies," said Mr. Netanyahu.

"The security weapons pursue the horrible terrorists. We will arrest them. The long arm of Israel reaches all those who seek our lives and will deal with them."

President Reuven Rivlin said: & # 39; This was a despicable attack on innocent people who would go through their daily lives in peace. & # 39;

Israeli forces were quickly deployed around Dolev, which is approximately 15 km north of Jerusalem and near the Palestinian village of Deir Ibzi, after the bombing. The army said they searched the area, set up roadblocks and increased safety.

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Eitan Shnerb, who is a rabbi, later spoke from his hospital bed by telephone from his hospital bed to his daughter's funeral in their hometown Lod, the Times of Israel newspaper reported.

"We are trying to be strong here in the land of Israel, the people of Israel. Rina believed in that," he said. "Our response to the killers is that we are here and that we are strong and that we will overcome."

The American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, tweeted that he was "deeply saddened and indignant about the brutal terrorist attack".

In a speech in the Gaza Strip, the leader of the militant Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas praised the attack, but did not say it was behind it.

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AFP

Image caption

The bomb exploded at a freshwater source that was often visited by hikers

Israeli military spokesman Brig Gen Ronen Manelis told the Jerusalem Post that the security forces had not yet determined whether those behind the attack were part of an established group or had acted alone.

He noted that there had recently been an increase in militant activity and violence in the West Bank and Gaza.

Last Friday, two Israelis were injured at the Elazar settlement in what, according to police, was a car-rattling attack. The alleged attacker, a Palestinian man, was shot on the spot.

Earlier this month, an off-duty Israeli soldier was stabbed to death near the settlement of Migdal Oz. Israeli security forces then arrested two Palestinian men in connection with the attack.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since the occupation of Israel by the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

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