Israeli settler, soldiers kill 3 Palestinians
April 8, 1997
Web posted at: 10:19 a.m. EDT (1419 GMT)
HEBRON, West Bank (CNN) -- A Jewish settler armed with a
submachine gun shot dead a Palestinian in the divided West
Bank town of Hebron on Tuesday. Rioting broke out and Israeli
forces killed two more Palestinians.
Firing tear gas, rubber bullets and then live ammunition,
soldiers injured more than 100 Palestinians. One rubber bullet
struck the head of a teenager, who later died in surgery;
another pierced the eye and brain of a man, who died after hours in a coma,
hospital workers said.
The violence followed Monday's Washington summit between
U.S. President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, which made no apparent headway in easing
tensions or resolving an impasse in Mideast peace.
Several high-ranking members of the Palestinian Authority are
due in Washington later this week to discuss U.S. ideas for
getting the damaged Israeli-Palestinian peace process
back on track. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is not
expected to be part of the group.
Israeli settler arrested
In Hebron, hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and
firebombs after the shooting by the settler, ignoring pleas
to disperse from Israeli troops who announced on loudspeakers
that the settler -- a seminary student -- had been arrested.
Israeli soldiers fired warning shots in the air, then shot at
protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas. When protesters
bombarded the soldiers with firebombs, the soldiers opened
fire with live ammunition, according to a reporter at the
At least four Israeli soldiers and several Palestinian
policemen were injured by stones.
The riot moved from a marketplace in the center of the city
to the border between the Israeli and Palestinian-controlled
zones, with Palestinian police trying to block protesters
from crossing the line.
A 15-year-old boy died in surgery at Hebron's Al-Ahli Hospital from
a rubber bullet to the head, according to Abdel Salaam Abu
Khalil, a nurse at the hospital. The hospital was treating 24
Hebron's Aliya Hospital said 78 Palestinians were being
treated there for injuries. Hadassah hospital spokesman Yossi
Shoval said that the third Palestinian to die, a 24-year-old
man, was also hit in the head with a rubber-coated bullet.
The man had fallen into a coma after the bullet penetrated
his right eye and entered his brain, hospital officials said.
Different versions of initial shooting
There were conflicting reports on the shooting that set off
"Two Jewish seminary students were on their way to the Tomb
of the Patriarchs when, according to their testimony, they
were attacked by an Arab who sprayed tear gas on them," said
Yossi Sitbon, commander of Israeli police in the West Bank.
Another report said the students may have been attacked with
"Fearing for their lives," one of the students fired, and
both were detained, Sitbon said.
Palestinians, however, said the killing was unprovoked.
Palestinian witnesses said the settler approached an Arab
shop owner in an area of Hebron still under Israeli control
and shot him.
Jibril Rajoub, head of Palestinian security forces in the
West Bank, blamed the settlers for stirring up violence.
Daily clashes have erupted in the West Bank since March 18,
when Israel broke ground for a Jewish housing project in
disputed East Jerusalem, a traditionally Arab section of the
Netanyahu blamed for violence
Arafat spokesman Marwan Kanafani blamed the violence on
Netanyahu, who has rejected Palestinian demands to halt the
Ahmed Qureia, speaker of the Palestinian legislative council,
also blamed Netanyahu, saying, "The settlers are taking their
inspiration from him."
Faisal Husseini, the senior Palestinian official in
Jerusalem, went further, accusing Netanyahu of giving "a
green light" to the settlers for such shootings. "It is not a
reaction, but deliberate and planned," he said.
Netanyahu, speaking Monday night in Washington after meeting
with Clinton, accused the Palestinians of "extortion" in
demanding that Israel cease construction before resuming
security cooperation to stop terrorist attacks.
"We're not going to pay a price for the privilege of not
being killed," he declared.
Non-aligned nations seek U.N. action
The Non-Aligned Movement on Tuesday called for an emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly to demand that Israel stop the East Jerusalem construction and all other settlement
The 113-member organization, meeting in New Delhi, India,
said in a statement that U.N. member states should impose an
economic boycott on Israeli companies or agencies operating
in "occupied Palestinian territories" and whose activities
violate U.N. resolutions.
Also Tuesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said his
country was willing to mediate to break a deadlock in the
Middle East peace process if Israel put on hold further
Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory.
Correspondent Jerrold Kessel and Reuters contributed to this report.
- Egypt sets conditions to mediate Mideast peace - April 8, 1997
- AllPolitics: Clinton, Netanyahu Talk At White House - April 7, 1997
- Israeli opens fire on Palestinian stone-throwers - April 7, 1997
- AllPolitics: Clinton and Netanyahu set to meet - April 7, 1997
- Netanyahu heads to U.S. for
Mideast talks - April 6, 1997
- Palestinians warn of 'explosion' in peace process - April 5, 1997
- Netanyahu, U.S. to push for final peace deal with PLO - April 4, 1997
- Netanyahu holds ground; Palestinians protest - April 3, 1997
- Israel approves expansion of West Bank settlements - April 2, 1997
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.