Gunmen Kill Soldier in Ambush, Troops Kill Two Arabs
Mar. 21, 1993
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Two Israeli soldiers were killed in separate ambushes on Saturday, and two Palestinian youths were shot dead in clashes with troops in the occupied territories.
Thousands of right-wing Israelis gathered outside Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's residence to protest the growing violence.
Eight Israelis have been killed so far this month, the highest number in a month since the beginning of the 5-year Palestinian revolt against Israeli rule in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Twelve Palestinians have also died.
Rabin returned early Friday from a trip to the United States to deal with the wave of violence. He has said he intends to enforce existing security measures, but has dismissed calls to seal off the Gaza Strip.
In Tunis, PLO leader Yasser Arafat appealed Saturday to the United States and Russia for help in ending the killings of Palestinians in the occupied territories. He did not specify what he wanted the two nations to do.
The head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, also claimed Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip received orders Friday to ''shoot Palestinians without hesitation,'' but did not offer evidence for his assertion.
Before dawn Saturday, Palestinian gunmen fired on an army patrol as it passed through the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, the army said. Sgt. Yosef Shabtai was shot dead, said Col. Israel, area commander.
The colonel told army radio he believed the attacker belonged to the Hamas, a fundamentalist Muslim group that has been blamed for previous attacks on the army.
In an evening ambush, a reservist was fatally wounded when gunmen riddled his patrol jeep near the West Bank village of Buruqin. Two other soldiers were wounded, the army said in a statement.
No further details were immediately available.
In the Khan Yunis refugee camp in Gaza, troops opened fire on stone- throwing Palestinians, killing 10-year-old Maher Naim al-Majayda and 16- year-old Taleb Fares el-Hamae, Arab reports and hospital sources said.
The army confirmed the 10-year-old's death and said it was checking the report of the second fatality.
At least three other Palestinians have been killed in Khan Yunis in the last week, and 165 have been wounded in confrontations with the army. Twenty- five of the wounded were children under 14.
The unrest was touched off when troops set up an observation post on the roof of a four-story building down the road from the hospital. Youths threw stones, the soldiers opened fire and the confrontation escalated.
Also in Gaza, soldiers blasted seven Arab homes with antitank rockets in the Deir el-Balah refugee camp in search of Palestinian activists, Arab reports said. The army said it had captured four activists, detained nine residents suspected of aiding them, and uncovered a large arms cache.
No comment was immediately available from Israeli authorities.
The Khan Yunis deaths brought to 1,057 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers or civilians since the uprising began.
In all, 126 Israelis have been killed in the violence. A total of 708 Arabs have been killed by their fellow Palestinians, most as suspected collaborators.