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Israeli teen killed by blast near West Bank settlement

A 17-year-old girl killed, her father and brother seriously wounded, in an IED attack near a popular hiking destination, army says
An Israeli ambulance and security forces gather at the site where a bomb exploded near the settlement of Dolev in the occupied West Bank. (AFP)

An Israeli teenage girl was killed while her father and brother were seriously wounded in an explosion in the occupied West Bank on Friday, according to the Israeli military.

A military spokesman said the family was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) while visiting a water spring near Dolev, an illegal Israeli settlement northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

The 17-year-old girl was earlier reported to be in critical condition after the explosion and was being treated on location by medical staff.

"Three civilians who were in a nearby spring were injured in an IED blast," the army said in a statement.

"One of the civilians is being treated at the scene while the remaining two were evacuated by [army] helicopter to a hospital for further medical treatment."

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The military said security forces were searching the area for Palestinians it deemed responsible. 

The girl's father and brother, aged 46 and 21, were seriously wounded, rescue teams said.  

Dolev is in a hilly region surrounded by olive groves and orchards, and is a popular site with tourists and hikers.

The area saw clashes last year between Palestinians and Israelis over settlement expansion, with Palestinian villagers decrying settler attempts to take over their land, including water sources.

Israeli security forces had quickly cordoned off the area around the Ein Bobin spring near the Palestinian village Deir Ibzi, following the attack.

There have been concerns of an increase in violence in the run-up to Israel's elections, set for 17 September.

Tensions are high in the West Bank, where recently there has been a string of attacks close to Israeli settlements. 

Last Friday, two Israelis were injured near the Elazar settlement, in what police said was a car-ramming attack. The driver, a Palestinian man, was shot dead at the scene by Israeli security forces.

Earlier this month, an Israeli soldier was stabbed to death near the settlement of Migdal Oz, leading to the arrest of two Palestinians.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built in the West Bank since Israel occupied the territory in the 1967 Middle East war. Israeli settlement in the West Bank, where some 2.5 million Palestinians live, is illegal under international law.

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