Three Palestinians Draw Life Terms for Killings
GAZA CITY, Occupied Gaza Strip (AP) _ In a tumultuous court session, three Palestinians were found guilty Wednesday of murdering Israeli civilians and Arab suspected collaborators and were given life sentences in prison.
″I had cleansed my people of collaborators 3/8″ shouted Ismail Mousa Bakhit after the sentencing, pitching his shoe at the judges. Military police shoved him from the courtroom.
Female relatives in the room wailed loudly, a sound now indicating defiance in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip.
All three Palestinians belonged to the underground Red Eagles, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a PLO faction.
The Israeli military court sentenced Bakhit to 12 life terms for murdering three Israeli civilians and seven Palestinians.
Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al-Masri drew four life terms for his role in some of the killings. Adel Ibrahim Abu Hadi got one life term plus five years.
One of the slain Israelis was Simha Levi, an Israeli woman who used to transport Arab produce pickers to Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. She was hacked to death in 1992. The other two Israelis killed were also Gaza settlers.
The army meanwhile reported that a soldier patrolling a refugee camp died Wednesday when his gun went off. It said he was not involved in a gunfight and a probe was begun to see if it was suicide or the result of a faulty weapon.
But Arab reports said the soldier died in a shootout in the Jabaliya refugee camp. Residents said Palestinian youths sprayed an army outpost at the camp with bullets and troops fired back, hitting one of their own.
Helicopters scanned overhead while border police searched house-by-house for fugitives, the reports said.
Munir Jamil al-Sendi, 26, from the Gaza town of Rafah, died Wednesday of gunshot wounds sustained the day before, Arab reporters said. They said he was shot when he pushed an Israeli soldier trying to arrest his brother Ashraf, a member of the outlawed Islamic Jihad organization.
Hamad Sajai, 19, died Wednesday near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank when a bomb he was preparing exploded, the army and Arab reports said.
Al-Sendi’s death brings to 1,132 the number of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israelis in the 5 1/2 -year-old uprising against Israeli rule in the occupied lands. Palestinians have killed an additional 747 fellow Arabs they say were cooperating with Israel. At least 141 Israelis have died in the unrest.