NABLUS - An Israeli settler shot dead a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank on Thursday after a group of Israelis was targeted by Palestinian stone-throwers, officials said.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the Palestinian was killed after being shot by an Israeli settler .

The Israeli army said the settler opened fire after the group was targeted with stones near the Palestinian village of Qusra in the northern West Bank.

“An army unit then arrived in the location and provided medical assistance to the Palestinians while providing security to the hikers,” a spokesman said.

Tensions run high between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Qusra is located near the Israeli settlement of Migdalim.

Israeli public radio said the hike had been organised to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah for young settlers from the area.

One of the fathers accompanying them opened fire with his private weapon, the report said.