Radical Palestinians take claim for settler killings
Israeli kills Palestinian in separate incident
December 12, 1996
Web posted at: 10:25 a.m. EST (1525 GMT)
In this story:
(CNN) -- A radical Palestinian guerrilla group on Thursday
claimed responsibility for the killing of a Jewish settler
and her 12-year-old son near the West Bank settlement of Beit
El. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and cabinet
members attended the funeral for the mother and child, who
were killed on Wednesday.
(375K/8 sec. QuickTime movie)
Separately Thursday, an Israeli farmer who shot and killed a
Palestinian south of Tel Aviv was being held for questioning,
Israeli police said.
They said the Palestinian -- 40-year-old Samir Abu Shaqfa, a
Gaza resident -- was employed by a neighbor of the Israeli
gunman. The shooter originally said he suspected Shaqfa of
trying to break into his house, police said. Another report
said the settler later said the Palestinian was a terrorist
about to carry out an attack.
But a senior Palestinian police officer in Gaza, Ziad al-
Atrash, said the exact circumstances of the incident were not
immediately clear. He discounted the possibility of a
robbery, without elaborating.
Four other Palestinian workers were wounded in the incident
in the village of Kiryat Gat.
On Wednesday, Etta Tzur and her son Ephraim were killed when
gunmen shot at their family car near the Palestinian self-
ruled town of Ramallah in the West Bank. Her husband and four
other children were wounded. Israel said the guerrillas
escaped into Ramallah, which was closed off after the attack.
"We confirm our responsibility for the attack which comes
within the PFLP's policy of fighting settlers wherever they
are," said Maher al-Taher, spokesman for the Damascus-based
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The PFLP is an opponent of Israel's peace deals with the
Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, asked by
reporters in Gaza to comment on the killings, kept silent. A
PLO official said the Palestinian Authority, in charge of
self-rule in parts of the West Bank and Gaza, condemned the
At Thursday's funeral for the settlers, Netanyahu said, "The
roots of the Jewish people are rooted in the land of Beit
El. These roots not only will not be uprooted, they
will be deepened. Our answer to these murderers... is that we
are staying here."
Netanyahu also demanded that the Palestinians help catch the
Also at the service, National Infrastructure Minister Ariel
Sharon, a champion of Jewish settlement, sniped at the
Israel-PLO peace accords that set up a Palestinian police
force overseen by Arafat.
"The murderers continue to go about their business. The Oslo
(peace) accords that put the question of protection of
Israeli citizens in the hands of a war criminal by any law
continue to cause bloodshed," Sharon said.
In Gaza, Palestinian Justice Minister Freih Abu Medeen saw
the shooting in a different context, telling reporters it
played into the hands of Netanyahu by giving him ammunition
to postpone a deal to withdraw Israeli troops from the West
Bank town of Hebron.
"Anything that will delay and kill our dream, we condemn,"
Medeen said. "Israel needs these incidents. Israel needs
these attacks. Israel will find a cover for its delays. This
is a gift for Mr. Netanyahu."
Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walter Rodgers and Reuters contributed to this report.
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