Photo: Jerusalem's Temple Mount, viewed from the Mount of Olives
The brutal killings Friday night of five Jewish settlers in the tightly guarded compound of Itamar, southeast of the West Bank city of Nablus, sent shockwaves through Israel, sparking worries of renewed violence in the Palestinian territories and heightening fears of retaliation from the Israel Defense Forces or angry settlers.
Israeli authorities suspect that the killings, the deadliest attack inside a settlement in several years, were either a strike by Palestinian militants or a revenge attack by residents of the West Bank village of Awarta, where two Palestinian teenagers were shot to death a year ago as they collected garbage near Itamar.
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