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Settler Fatally Shoots Captive Palestinian

March 23, 1993

JERUSALEM (AP) _ A Jewish settler shot and killed a Palestinian who had been bound hand and foot after stabbing another settler today, the army said.

The settler who opened fire believed the man had a grenade, Israel radio said. But another settler was quoted as saying the grenade had been taken from the Arab before he was shot.

The killing came amid an escalation in Arab-Israeli unrest and warnings by some settlers they would take the law into their hands if the army fails to control the violence.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rebuffed demands from right-wing lawmakers on Monday for tougher measures to curb the unrest, saying the Palestinian uprising will be ended only through peace talks.

Today, Rabin urged Israelis to get more involved in defending themselves by volunteering for civil guard duty. Israelis should ″devote more evenings to guarding their communities rather than sitting and complaining,″ he told a gathering of the civil guard.

President Chaim Herzog called on the public to remain ″cool-headed and to show some restraint″ in responding to Arab violence, Israel radio said.

Eight Israelis and 19 Palestinians have been killed this month. On Monday, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians and wounded 29 in the occupied Gaza Strip and an Arab inflicted stab wounds on six Israelis at a Jerusalem high school.

The army initially identified the Palestinian killed today as Jawad Jamil Khalil Husiya, 19, of Yatta village in the occupied West Bank. But settler leaders and Palestinian sources later said he carried a stolen identity card and his real name was Moussa Abu Sabha, 21, also of Yatta.

Settlers said Abu Sabha was on the army’s wanted list. Army officials said they were checking the report.

The Palestinian was stopped this morning by two settlers from the Sussiya settlement near Hebron who suspected he was planning an attack on Jews, the army said.

He was put in a jeep and then pulled a knife and stabbed one settler in the shoulder, the army said. ″They both jumped on him, tied his hands and feet and took him off the vehicle,″ it said.

While the injured settler, Moshe Deutsch, was being treated, another settler ″approached the Arab and shot him from close range and killed him,″ the army said. Israel radio said the Palestinian was shot eight times.

Police detained the settler who opened fire, the army said. Israel radio identified him as Yoram Skolnick of Maale Hever, another settlement in the Hebron area.

The radio said Skolnick heard on a car radio before reaching the scene that the Arab had a grenade. But the radio quoted a medic, Shlomo Hoss of Sussiya, as saying Skolnick shot the Palestinian after the grenade was taken away.

Ron Shechner, a settlement leader, said on the radio he did not know whether the Arab directly threatened anyone’s life when he was shot. But he said the Arab had been suspected of planning to attack a school about 300 to 400 yards from where he was picked up.

Update hourly