Israeli soldiers on Sunday found the body of Rabbi Hillel Lieberman, a Jewish settler missing since Saturday, in a cave near a West Bank highway.
``He was shot by Palestinians,'' said police spokesman Rafi Yafe. Yafe said the family was notified.
Jewish leaders in New York said the 37-year-old rabbi was the father of six and had immigrated to Israel 14 years ago.
A statement issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said Lieberman had left home on foot Saturday and was headed for Joseph's tomb, ransacked earlier by Palestinians who destroyed sacred Jewish texts at the site after driving away Israeli troops.
The statement said Lieberman had hoped to save some of the Torah scrolls housed in the tomb which many Jews believe to be the burial site of the biblical figure Joseph, son of Jacob. Liebermann was apparently killed on his way there.
The statement was signed by Ronald Lauder, chairman of the organization and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman.