Eight Palestinians Reported Wounded In West Bank
HEBRON, Occupied West Bank (AP) _ Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators in a West Bank village today, killing one with a shot through the heart and wounding four others, Arab reports and hospital officials said.
The army confirmed that soldiers fatally shot one Arab and wounded four in clashes in the village of Shuyukh, northeast of the city of Hebron.
Two officers opened fire after more than 100 Shuyukh residents attacked an army patrol with stones and bottles, said an officer in Shuyukh. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
Also today, the Norwegian ambassador apologized to Israeli officials for saying the conduct of Israeli troops in the occupied territories was worse than that of German troops who occupied Norway during World War II.
Ambassador Torleiv Anda apologized after he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and met with the ministry’s political director-general, Yossi Beilin.
Doctors at Alia Hospital in Hebron said a 25-year-old Shuyukh resident was killed by a shot that pierced the heart. The Palestine Press Service identified him as Ismail Mohammed Hussein.
Alia doctors also said they treated four Shuyukh residents for gunshot wounds in the legs and arms and four women for beating injuries.
One of the wounded, Khaled Abu Rumei, told The Associated Press from his hospital bed that soldiers had entered the village at about 5 a.m. to round up suspected agitators.
″They started breaking into houses and taking people away,″ said Rumei’s mother, who would not give her first name. She said soldiers clubbed her when she tried to stop them from detaining one of her sons.
The army declared the village a closed military area, and soldiers turned back reporters who went to the scene in early afternoon.
The army, meanwhile, clamped a curfew on the nearby village of Sair, the site of frequent anti-Israeli protests, the army official said. He said soldiers detained several residents, but did not have further details.
During the meeting with the Norwegian ambssador, Beilin expressed his ″sharp protest″ to Anda, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ehud Gol.
″The ambassador expressed regret that his words were understood in a way which has caused embarrassment,″ Gol said.
Anda told Israel radio after the meeting that ″there was a misunderstanding that I wanted to compare these two regimes, and I’m very happy to have the opportunity to clarify.″
Anda told reporters Tuesday that many Norwegians were comparing the conduct of the Israeli army to the behavior of Nazi troops who occupied Norway for five years during World War II.
″What the Germans did, including beating and torturing prisoners and suspects, was very bad,″ the Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted Anda as saying. ″But we do not remember them going out into the streets to break people’s arms and legs or pulling children out of their homes at night.″
The army today said seven Palestinians were wounded late Tuesday in clashes at the Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron. Aliya Hospital officials said that, in addition to gunshot victims, they treated 12 Arabs who were injured by rubber bullets or beatings.
Also Tuesday, soldiers shot and wounded two Palestinians in the West Bank village of Kabatiyeh and a third in the nearby city of Jenin, hospital officials said. The army confirmed one protester was wounded in Kabatiyeh.
In another development, Transport Minister Chaim Corfu hinted Israel was involved in bombing the ferry that was to carry 130 deported Palestinians back to Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which sponsored the voyage, has accused Israel of responsibility for the bombing Monday at the port of Limassol, Cyprus.
Corfu warned that if the PLO bought another ship for the trip, ″its fate will be the same.″
Speaking on Israel radio Tuesday, Corfu said: ″We knew we wouldn’t allow the boat to reach Israel. If we could prevent its departure, that was obviously the right thing to do.″
In Parliament Tuesday, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin was questioned about his policy of beating Palestinians to stop riots. He said the beating orders were necessary and ″to the best of my knowledge and judgment, are legal.″
Rabin said soldiers have exceeded orders ″in many cases″ and confirmed troops used a bulldozer earlier this month to bury alive four Arabs near Nablus. The Arabs were saved by other Palestinians.
Maj. Gen. Ehud Barak, deputy chief of staff, said a sergeant-major and a non-commissioned officer were detained in connection with the incident.
Barak said soldiers had no choice but to use beatings to try to curb nearly 2 1/2 months of riots in the occupied lands.
He said more than 200 Israelis had been injured, most of them lightly, and that 53 Arabs had been killed since disturbances began Dec. 8. The United Nations puts the death toll at 54.