Two Arabs Killed, Palestinians Plan Action For Shultz Visit
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israeli soldiers Sunday killed two Arabs in clashes in the West Bank. Palestinian organizers called for stepped up protests to coincide with the visit of U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz this week.
The army said soldiers shot and killed the Arabs in separate confrontations in the West Bank city of Nablus and the Deir Ammar refugee camp. One was killed after he stabbed a soldier, the army said.
Palestinian reports said 20 Arabs were wounded by army gunfire, but the army confirmed only three of the shootings.
The army initially reported a third Arab shot and killed in Nablus but later retracted the statement. Nablus hospital officials said the man, Ahmed Abu Salhiye, in his 50s, died of a heart attack after being overcome by tear gas.
The latest deaths brought the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis since the protests began Dec. 8 to 61, according to U.N. figures.
Officials in the Economy Ministry said the government has spent $330 million to finance the crackdown on the protests. Israel’s 1988 budget is $31 billion.
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin rejected demands that he issue specific guidelines to soldiers to curb the use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters. Rabin said during a Cabinet meeting such guidelines were useless because he could not anticipate all situations soldiers might face.
Rabin denied reports by The Sunday Times of London that he commissioned two psychologists to report on the effects the army crackdown in the occupied territories has on soldiers.
″I have not ordered any reports, and I didn’t receive any,″ Rabin told Israel radio.
Psychologists who compiled the report said brutal behavior among troops has become widespread and that some officers are issuing illegal commands, ordering random beatings.
A leaflet distributed Sunday urged Palestinians to show ″national outrage in the face of the Shultz visit.″ The leaflet, signed by the ″United National Leadership of the Uprising,″ called for a week of strikes and demonstrations.
Shultz is tentatively scheduled to arrive Thursday, bringing with him a plan he hopes will reignite the stalled peace process.
The leaflet called for a day of solidarity Monday with those killed, wounded or arrested in the disturbances, a national hunger strike Tuesday, general strikes Wednesday and Thursday, demonstrations Friday and a defiance of curfews Saturday.
″Let us increase the occupation’s political, moral and economic losses and remember that the Vietnamese won their war against the Americans not only with guns but also through the struggle of their peasants,″ the leaflet said.
Shultz plans to use Jerusalem as his base for several days, making short trips to Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The Americans also have discussed the Shultz visit with local Palestinians, said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Watt Cluvarius, a deputy to Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy, met with a group of about 10 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to Arab and American sources.
The Palestine Liberation Organization on Friday ordered West Bank and Gaza Palestinians not to talk with Shultz. But Dr. Yasser Obeid, one of those who met with Cluvarius, said the participants hoped PLO leader Yasser Arafat would change his mind.
″We hope that such a meeting will happen,″ Obeid said, adding that Cluvarius explained details of the U.S. plan.
The U.S. official said Saturday’s meeting was part of regular American contacts with Palestinians, and if some wanted to meet Shultz he probably would accommodate them.
In the West Bank city of Nablus, soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian after he stabbed a soldier, the army said. Doctors at Ittihad Hospital identified the victim as Ramez Abu Amara, 18.
The army said the soldier was injured, but did not elaborate.
In the West Bank refugee camp Deir Ammar, soldiers fatally shot a protester during clashes, the army said. Hospital officials identified the victim as Kamal Mohammed Fares, 24, and said he was shot in the chest.
Nablus hospital officials said they treated 17 Arabs for gunshot wounds, but the army said it could not confirm the reports. The army said soldiers shot and wounded three Palestinians in clashes in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis.
Psychologist Charlie Greenbaum said the crackdown has damaged the morale of soldiers who frequently are given what he called illegal orders.
″The army is breaking the law and its own norms, commanders are giving orders to smash property, break arms and legs and beat people, and not just to disperse demonstrations,″ Greenbaum told the Haaretz newspaper.
Haaretz said Greenbaum and his colleague, Dan Bar On, served the military establishment, but did mention whether their report was commissioned by and delivered to the army.
When contacted by The Associated Press, Greenbaum confirmed that the Haaretz quotes were correct, but refused to answer questions.
Greenbaum said the army must provide specific and legal guidelines. ″If it doesn’t do so, it places the officers and soldiers in an impossible situation,″ he was quoted as saying.
Three vessels of the U.S. Sixth Fleet arrived in Haifa for a regularly scheduled visit to last about a week.
Rear Admiral John K. Redy, commander of the three vessels, said the visit was not connected to the kidnapping last week in Lebanon of American Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins. But he said the force would be ready to take action if necessary.