Palestinian Throws Bomb at Army Post; Lowest Fatality Toll in January
JERUSALEM (AP) _ A Palestinian hurled a homemade bomb at an army outpost in the occupied Gaza City on Thursday and suffered serious wounds in the explosion, military officials said. An Israeli soldier was slightly injured in the blast.
An army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the soldier was only ″scratched″ in the attack and treated on the spot. The assailant was taken to Barzilai Hospital in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon, he said.
Officials at Gaza’s Ahli Arab hospital said they treated Mohammed El Batneij, 24, a Gaza City resident who suffered multiple wounds and was later taken away by troops.
Arab journalists said they believed El Batneij was the attacker in the incident reported by the army, but the military had no comment.
In other violence, two Palestinians were reported shot and wounded in a clash between soldiers and stone throwers in the West Bank city of Nablus. A Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel died of head wounds after reportedly being beaten by fellow Arabs.
Also Thursday, an Israeli human rights group said eleven Arabs were killed by Israelis during January, matching the lowest monthly fatality toll since the Palestinian uprising began nearly 26 months ago.
An Israeli army spokesman said, however, that the lower toll did not necessarily mean the revolt against Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was over. ″There have been ups and downs in the amount and the extent of violence,″ said the spokesman, Maj. Moshe Fogel.
During January, Israelis killed nine Palestinians in the West Bank and two in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
The organization, founded by liberal Israeli politicians and academics, said that matched the lowest monthly death toll of Palestinian victims in the uprising, 11 in November 1988.
It noted 21 Palestinians were killed in December 1989 and the highest monthly toll of the uprising was 44 killed in April 1988.
In the West Bank, a Palestinian man suspected of collaborating with Israel died Thursday of massive internal hemorrhaging after being clubbed by masked Arab assailiants, hospital and Arab reports said.
Wahid Abdalla Rashid, 29, died at Ramallah hospital after he was severely beaten in Jammala, a village 14 miles northwest of Jerusalem. The army confirmed the death and said it was under investigation.
Rashid’s death brought to 176 the number of Palestinians killed by their fellow Arabs on suspicion of assisting Israel during the revolt that began December 1987.
At least 651 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers or civilians during the ″intefadeh,″ Arabic for uprising. Forty-three Israelis have also died in the violence.