Palestinian Toddler Killed By Israeli Troops, Reports Say
JERUSALEM (AP) _ An Israeli patrol opened fire at stone-throwing Palestinians in Gaza City on Wednesday, killing a 3-year-old boy and wounding two youths, Arab reports said.
The clash came as Palestinians marked the start of the 12th month of their uprising against Israeli occupation, blocking roads with burning tires, unfurling illegal Palestinian flags and shutting businesses with a general strike.
At least 11 other Palestinians were reported wounded in clashes in the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank.
In Gaza City’s Shajaiya quarter, an army jeep was pelted with stones and troops responded with gunfire, an Arab reporter said. Osama Mohammed Abu Ganima was killed when a bullet hit him in the chest, officials at Shifa Hospital said.
Family members said the child was playing nearby when the shooting occurred. In the same incident, a 12-year-old Arab was shot in the jaw and a 13-year-old was wounded in the leg, hospital officials said.
An army spokesman in Gaza confirmed the child’s death. ″We are questioning troops to see if the death resulted from army shooting,″ he said on condition of anonymity.
In the city’s Mograbi Quarter, soldiers who were being stoned responded with a favorite weapon of Arab youths, the slingshot, before opening fire with guns, an Arab witness said.
A 17-year-old Palestinian was wounded in the hip with a plastic bullet in that incident, said an official at Ahli Arab hospital. The hospital officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, seven youths aged 15 to 18 were shot and wounded. The army confirmed three wounded in Gaza.
Three teen-agers were reported wounded in the West Bank, hospital officials said.
Jewish settlers in the occupied lands, meanwhile, demanded tougher action against Palestinian rioters after a 52-year-old woman settler was injured in the head by a stone.
Margaret Rosner was struck Tuesday while traveling in a car that had come form the West Bank and was just inside Israel, Israeli news reports said. She was hospitalized in serious condition.
The national Itim news agency said police arrested a 25-year-old Palestinian from the West bank town of Qalqilya as a suspect.
Public transportation was halted and shops closed in the latest strike against the Israeli occupation of the territories captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
The strike marked the start of the 12th month of uprising that began Dec. 8. Wednesday’s death raised to 310 the Arab death toll in the rebellion. Eleven Israelis also have died.
In the West Bank city of Bethlehem, activists sprayed walls with graffiti praising the PLO’s plans to declare Palestinian independence at a meeting of the Palestine National Council beginning Saturday.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s 10-member inner Cabinet also debated the upcoming meeting, including ways of responding to an expected increase in Palestinian violence, Israel radio reported.
″The PNC decisions and declaration of independence would have no effect here,″ it quoted Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin as saying. ″All attempts to exploit these decisions and violate order will be crushed by force.″
Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron said additional forces were being deployed in the occupied lands during the meeting.