Palestinian Dies of Gunshot Wounds
JERUSALEM (AP) _ A Palestinian died Wednesday of gunshot wounds from an earlier confrontation with troops, and a police officer was removed from his job for using unnecessary force in breaking up a peace rally last month.
Palestinians staged a general strike in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to protest what they perceive as anti-Arab U.S. policies.
There were scattered stone-throwing clashes in the territories and troops shot and wounded at least nine Palestinians, Arab hospital officials said. The army confirmed six wounded.
Yousef Hatem Shusha, 19, of the West Bank village of Husan died at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem after being shot in the head and back during a clash Tuesday night, Arab reports said.
An army official confirmed the death and said the circumstances were under investigation.
The death brought to 648 the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis during the 25-month Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation.
Palestinian vigilantes have killed 170 fellow Arabs suspected of cooperating with Israel. Forty-three Israelis have died as well.
Israeli Police Commissioner David Krauss ordered an unidentified officer removed from his post after viewing film of police dispersing a demonstrators on Dec. 30, police spokesman Uzi Sandori said.
″We saw in the film that the policeman was beating two people, without any need, with a billy club,″ Krauss said on army radio.
More than 50 people were injured in the melee. The European Community and peace activists criticized police for using ″unjustified″ violence during the demonstration.
At the time, police said officers acted only after outlawed PLO flags were waved and stones hurled at police.
″I can understand that an innocent citizen in this situation felt very bad. He saw people running about, heard explosions, saw horses and maybe was sprayed with water and tear gas. ... But after you see the film you understand that police had to do it,″ Krauss said.
Stores were shut and transportation came to a halt throughout the territories as Palestinians heeded a strike call by the PLO-backed Unified National Leadership of the Uprising.
The underground leaders ordered the strike to ″condemn American policy which is against the rights of our people,″ according to a leaflet circulated this month.
The PLO has accepted the United States as a mediator in Middle East peace efforts, but many Palestinians believe Washington favors Israel in the conflict.
In other developments, troops bulldozed a house in Gaza City because the owner’s son was suspected of killing a Palestinian allegedly collaborating with Israel, the army said.
The chief of police in northern Israel, Albert Musafia, reported a 30 percent rise in politically motivated attacks by Israeli Arabs in 1989 over the previous year. He did not provide figures.
″The events in Judea, Samaria and Gaza exercise an influence on nationalist radicalism among Israeli Arabs that is expressed in firebomb attacks, painting of slogans and Palestinian flags,″ he said, using biblical names for the West Bank.
But Musafia attributed most of the attacks to ″marginal groups of youths.″