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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Seized Israeli settler found dead
Popular Resistance Committee members with "Eliyahu Asheri's ID"
Militants show what they say is proof of Eliyahu Asheri's identity
A young Jewish settler seized by Palestinian militants in the West Bank has been found dead.

The body of Eliyahu Asheri, 18, from the Itamar settlement, was retrieved near Ramallah by the Israeli army.

The Popular Resistance Committees had earlier showed a photocopy of his ID after he was reported missing.

Israeli military sources said he was killed by a single bullet to the head and then buried, according to the AFP news agency.

Other Israeli sources quoted by the Associated Press said that he had probably been shot dead soon after he was abducted.

His death comes as Israel continues its operations in Gaza, sparked by seizure of an Israeli soldier by militants on Sunday.

Mother's plea

At a Gaza City conference on Wednesday, a photocopy of Eliyahu Asheri's ID was held up by Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Abir.

Miriam Asheri
Miriam Asheri had appealed for her son's release

"We will kill the settler unless the aggression against the Gaza Strip stops," he warned.

Eliyahu Asheri's parents reported him missing when he failed to return home on Monday.

His mother, Miriam, had said: "We turn to those who are holding Eliyahu and really, really request that they take care of him.

"We really hope that they will return him alive."

Israel has vowed to take "extreme action" if the soldier captured in Gaza, Cpl Gilad Shalit, is not released.

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