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Israel arrests suspects in West Bank settler rampage

Police have arrested six suspects over a settler rampage in the occupied West Bank that an Israeli general described as a "pogrom" and which followed a deadly Palestinian gun attack.

A Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli brothers on Sunday as they were driving in the occupied West Bank, prompting attacks by Israeli settlers on houses and cars during which one Palestinian was killed, officials say.

Israeli police said on Wednesday they expected to make more arrests during their ongoing investigation into the settler violence in and around Huwara, a Palestinian village where the two Israeli brothers from a nearby settlement were shot dead.

Major General Yehuda Fuchs, who commands the Israeli military in the area, said his forces had prepared for attempted settler retribution but had been surprised by the intensity of the violence, which he said was perpetrated by dozens of people.

"The incident in Huwara was a pogrom carried out by outlaws," he told N12 News late on Tuesday.

A pogrom is a mob attack, often approved by authorities, against a religious, racial, or national minority. The term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Fuchs' comments came amid increased tensions within the nationalist-religious government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which includes hardline settlers demanding tough action against Palestinian attacks.

One of them, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, has called on people "not to take the law into their own hands", while his Jewish Power party has accused Netanyahu of being weak on terrorism.

"This is not 'taking the law into your own hands,' because lawful people don't sow terror among the (civilian) population," Fuchs said.

"Collective punishment doesn't help combating terrorism, on the contrary it might even cause terrorism."

With the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Jewish Passover festival weeks away, foreign mediators have sought to tamp down tensions that surged after a spate of deadly Palestinian street attacks and lethal Israeli military raids.

"I'm worried," said US Ambassador Tom Nides at Tel Aviv University's conference of the Institute for National Security Studies late on Tuesday.

"This is going to be a very complicated period of time we're about to walk into, we've got to keep things as calm as possible to keep things from getting out of control, which could easily happen."