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Israeli Army To Prosecute Soldiers

January 16, 2001

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The Israeli army said Monday that it will prosecute soldiers who fired toward the car of a senior Roman Catholic bishop at a roadblock in the West Bank.

On Jan. 9, two soldiers fired warning shots toward the car of Bishop Boulos Marcuzzi, the second-ranking Catholic prelate in the Holy Land, as the vehicle passed through an army checkpoint.

The bishop was on his way to visit a sick priest in the Palestinian village of Zababde in the West Bank. The bishop’s car had diplomatic license plates and was flying the Vatican flag.

His chauffeur, Father Elie Kurzum, said he didn’t see a stop sign, but slowed down before he zigzagged between the concrete blocks at the checkpoint. It was then that the soldiers fired one shot in the air and two which passed close to the car, he said, adding that one of the soldiers threatened to put a bullet in his head.

The army spokesman said Monday that the soldiers ``reacted in the wrong way″ and would be prosecuted.

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