West Bank violence in Palestinian town described as 'a pogrom' by Israeli military commander
A senior commander in the Israeli military has described the violence by Israeli settlers in the Palestinian town of Hawara on Sunday night as "a pogrom".
Major General Yossi Fuchs, who is in charge of West Bank operations, admitted his soldiers had been caught off-guard by the size of the rampage.
As many as 400 Jewish settlers marched on Hawara after the killing of two Jewish men earlier that day. They burnt cars and houses, and many Palestinian families had to be rescued, in fear of their lives.
The use of the word pogrom in this instance is highly emotive and significant for Israelis because it historically refers to extreme and organised violence against Jews, particularly in 19th-century Tsarist Russia.
Sky News understands there was genuine outrage in Israeli military headquarters at the scenes on Sunday. One source said they were "horrified" by what they saw and described the violence as "disgraceful".
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised by Israelis on an online funding page set up to help the Palestinian victims of Sunday's violence.
International condemnation has been strong - the EU said it is "highly concerned by the spiralling violence" and the US Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs took the rare step of visiting the victims of the attacks in person. Many large Jewish-American organisations have also denounced the violence.
A man killed in the West Bank on Monday has been identified as a 26-year-old American-Israeli citizen, Elan Ganeles.
He was shot at a road junction near the city of Jericho.
Multiple gunmen reportedly opened fire on the vehicle, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and two more vehicles with Israeli number plates were attacked shortly after, but no injuries were reported.
The attackers set fire to their own vehicle and then fled on foot. Road blocks were set up to try and catch them.
The IDF defended its tactics after criticism that it could have done more to prevent the riots, following messages on social media inciting violence.
"It's too early to say (if operational mistakes were made), but it wasn't a good day," admitted the spokesman.
More forces have been deployed to the area to "de-escalate the situation and keep the two sides apart".
The violence coincided with rare talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials at the Red Sea resort of Aqaba in Jordan.