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Jewish Shopper Stabbed in Hebron; Four Palestinian Protesters Wounded

March 3, 1988

JERUSALEM (AP) _ An Arab stabbed a teen-age Jewish settler in the back Thursday as he shopped for the Jewish Purim holiday in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the army and witnesses said.

Minutes later, angry Jewish settlers attacked photographers taking pictures there, witnesses said.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli troops wounded four Palestinians in violent protests.

On the diplomatic front, U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz arrived in Israel Thursday night for a last-ditch effort to sell his peace proposal. He was met by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, but no statements were made.

Legislators of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s right-wing Likud bloc have rejected the U.S. proposal, saying they will not agree to an international conference or to the exchange of land for peace.

The scuffle in Hebron, 20 miles south of Jerusalem, began shortly after 16- year-old settler Aharon Peretz was stabbed.

The army said later Peretz was treated for slight injuries at a Jerusalem hospital and released.

A photographer on assignment for Time magazine was struck with her camera by enraged Jewish settlers. She fell to the ground unconscious, with a one- inch gash in her forehead that required five stitches.

The attack reflected the growing anger of settlers and much of the Israeli public at the news media, which they blame for tarnishing Israel’s image abroad and for inflaming unrest in the territories by their presence.

In the Arab village of Idna on Thursday, riot police fired on dozens of Palestinians who stoned their jeep. An army spokesman said three Arabs were wounded in the legs.

Troops shot a fourth Arab youth in the neck after Palestinians in Beita, a village eight miles east of Nablus, hurled rocks at soldiers, according to hospital officials and the Arab-run Palestine Press Service.

In the Gaza Strip, troops fired 16 tear gas canisters to subdue about 250 girls demonstrating at their school in Rafah, a Palestinian reporter said.

In Hebron, photographers were standing outside the home where Peretz received first aid when a settler attacked Reuter photographer Jim Hollander as he took pictures of a little girl.

Hollander said the settler, without explanation, punched him in the face, breaking his glasses and giving him a swollen lip.

When Hollander’s wife, Rina Castelnuovo, tried to break up the scuffle, another settler grabbed her camera and hit her in the head. She fell to the ground unconscious, blood gushing from her forehead, Hollander said.

She was on assignment for Time.

″It was like revenge on the press,″ said Israeli news photographer Eli Herskovitz, who was at the scene. ″Those settlers went crazy.″

Shamir said this week he was considering further restrictions on journalists in the occupied lands, and the Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday all senior army officers and most soldiers serving there support a press ban.

Reuter bureau chief Paul Taylor said the agency filed complaints with Hebron police and the West Bank military command. The army said it was investigating.

Soldiers later declared Hebron a closed military area, detained dozens of Arab residents and rounded them up in a central square.

As detainees looked on, dozens of settlers staged a Purim parade, dancing in the street and singing ″The people of our ancestors lives.″ Soldiers with clubs guarded the marchers.

Purim is a religious holiday commemorating Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia who saved the Jews from destruction 24 centuries ago. Celebrants wear costumes and spray harmless foam on passers-by.

Peretz, one of about 60 Jews who live in Hebron among 70,000 Palestinians, ″felt a sharp jab in his back, turned and saw an Arab with a knife,″ Brooklyn, N.Y.-born settler Miriam Levinger of Hebron said in an interview.

She said Peretz chased his assailant several yards and threw a can of Purim foam at him before collapsing.

It was the third serious attack on a settler since unrest began Dec. 8. According to U.N. figures, 76 Arabs have been killed, including several by Jewish settlers.

Israel took the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from Egypt and Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.

Both Peretz and his father, Meir Peretz, complained that reporters got in the way of soldiers trying to pursue the assailant.

The head of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Shilo Gal, condemned the attack on the journalists.

Update hourly