Arab Paper Raided; Soldiers Kill Three Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Soldiers shot three Palestinians to death Tuesday during anti-occupation rioting in the West Bank. Israeli police raided a prominent Arab daily newspaper and arrested its managing editor.
Three Arabs were reported wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where rebellion against Israeli occupation began Dec. 8. At least 180 Palestinians have been killed, and an Israeli soldier and Jewish settler have been slain.
The Israelis have closed two Arab newspapers and the Palestine Press Service news agency in the five months and arrested 22 reporters, both Arabs and Israelis, who sympathize with the Palestinians.
In south Lebanon, Israeli tanks pushed to within a few miles of Syrian positions, reinforcing Israeli soldiers who searched the rugged hills for Palestinian guerrillas in an operation that began Monday night. Syrian forces went on full alert.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said the Israeli forces would not remain in the area long or provoke the Syrians. ″There’s totally no danger of entanglement in Lebanon,″ he said on Israel radio.
Shamir said later in northern Galilee that the operation was not aimed at expanding Israel’s self-proclaimed ″security zone,″ a six- to 10-mile-wide strip in southern Lebanon.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Shamir’s rival in the coalition government, said the operation was within ″the routine framework of preventing infiltrations into Israel.″
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin toured south Lebanon and later indicated the push will continue at least until Wednesday evening. He said other incursions may follow - ″any time we shall find it necessary ... (because of) terror from Lebanon.″
Rabin told Israel TV that Israeli troops were ″tens of kilometers″ from the main Syrian army positions. A kilometer is slightly more than six-tenths of a mile.
Col. Ranaan Gissin, deputy army spokesman, said the Syrians understood the action posed no threat to them.
The operation against Palestinian bases in south Lebanon came after weeks of guerrilla raids into Israel, including two last week. Israel blamed Syria because the guerrillas came from the Bekaa Valley, which the Syrian army controls.
Protesters burned tires and hurled stones at soldiers Tuesday in Beni Naim, a West Bank village two miles east of Hebron, and the troopers opened fire, killing two, the army reported.
Soldiers also shot and killed a Palestinian rioter in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, said Israel radio and officials at Ittihad Hospital in Nablus. Arab reports identified him as Khaled Rifki Amiza, 23.
Family members said the victims in Beni Naim were Omar Mohammed Manasra and Nidal Salim Harasha, both 18.
Daoud Manasra, a cousin of one victim, said he saw 12 army jeeps enter the village during the protest and two helicopters hover overhead.
He said about 5,000 villagers waved outlawed Palestinian flags and black flags of mourning at a funeral for the two young men, chanting: ″With our body and soul we will redeem you, Palestine 3/8″ and ″Palestine is Arab 3/8″
Hanna Siniora, editor of the daily Al Fajr, said plainclothes and riot police entered its offices in Arab east Jerusalem on Monday night, arrested managing editor Hatem Abdul Khader and took the names of other employees.
Security forces confirmed the raid and said Abdul Khader would be jailed for six months without trial under emergency regulations.
Siniora told The Associated Press: ″I feel all these oppressive measures will backlash against the peace process. Journalists apparently are being singled out for special attention.″
He said it was not clear why Abdul Khader, managing editor for six years, was detained.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip mounted a commercial strike, following instructions in an underground leaflet issued Friday. The army said it put four refugee camps under curfew.
An army report said soldiers shot and wounded an 18-year-old Arab who tried to keep workers from traveling to jobs in Israel.
Another was wounded by Israeli gunfire at a protest in Gaza City, and soldiers wounded a Palestinian during a clash in Ajul near Ramallah in the West Bank, hospital officials said.
A prayer leader at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque was jailed for six months without trial, said a member of Jerusalem’s Islamic Council. The leader, Muhamed Fouad Abu Zeid, also directed the Islamic Council in Jenin, a West Bank town.