JERUSALEM — The body of an 8-year-old Jewish boy whose head had been bashed in was discovered today in a cave on the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the military imposed a curfew on three nearby Arab villages, a military spokesman said.
Searchers found the body of Rami Habah early today after he failed to return to his home Wednesday in the Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said.
Israel radio said a bloodied rock was found near the body.
"We don't understand the background, whether it was criminal or terrorist," the IDF spokesman said.
An Elon Moreh leader, Beni Katchover, appealed to the Jewish settlers for calm and asked them not to take any retaliatory measures.
Members of Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, urged calm and warned against vigilantism by settlers on the West Bank.
Several days of violence broke out on the West Bank last month when an unidentified man, presumed to be an Arab, hurled a firebomb at the car of a Jewish family. A pregnant woman was killed and her husband and four children were burned in the April 11 attack.
Settlers that night rampaged against an Arab village, Kalkilya, near the scene of the attack at the West Bank settlement of Habla.