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Teenage girl killed in Hebron clash

Border police restrain Israeli settlers from pursuing Palestinians who threw rocks at a funeral procession.
Border police restrain Israeli settlers from pursuing Palestinians who threw rocks at a funeral procession.  

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A 13-year-old Palestinian girl was killed and 21 other Palestinians and 15 Israeli policemen wounded Sunday when Israeli settlers rioted and clashed with Palestinians in the West Bank town of Hebron, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

An Israeli police spokesman said the riot erupted during the funeral of an Israeli soldier, one of four settlers killed Friday in an ambush by Palestinian gunmen.

The spokesman said the settlers damaged several police cars. Four settlers were arrested for interrogation, he said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the Palestinian teenager who died was shot in the head. Another person was shot, one person was stabbed and the rest were beaten, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. Their wounds were described as light to moderate.

The Israeli sources confirmed that shooting and beatings took place and said the Palestinians had thrown rocks and stones at the funeral procession, helping to instigate the violence.

The Israeli police spokesman said the policemen who were wounded were trying to intervene between the Palestinians and the settlers. The Israelis said soldiers also intervened and treated two wounded Palestinians.

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Erakat said the Israelis did not do enough to stop the settlers. Erakat, who at the time was in Jericho, about 50 miles away, said he held the Israeli government responsible for the casualties.

Elsewhere Sunday, Israeli soldiers arrested a prominent Hamas member, Hussein Abu Kweik, in a sweep near Ramallah in the West Bank, Israeli military sources said. The soldiers captured one other Hamas member.

It was during the sweep that Israeli soldiers killed an 18-year-old Palestinian and wounded another in the Palestinian village of Madar el Sharkiya, the Red Crescent said.

Israeli military sources said the soldiers were in the village to search for wanted Palestinians when a number of residents began throwing blocks of stone at the soldiers.

The soldiers identified two of those who had thrown the blocks and opened fire on them, the sources said, though they said only one was hit and the other managed to flee in the direction of Ramallah.

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. The group's military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and attacks against the Israeli military.




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