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Gunmen Kill Jewish Seminary Student, Wound Another in Drive-by Shooting

May 13, 1996

BEIT EL, West Bank (AP) _ Drive-by gunmen opened fire today at Jewish settlers on a bus and at a West Bank bus stop, killing one teen-age seminary student and seriously wounding another.

There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, but Israeli security forces have warned that Islamic militants opposed to Mideast peacemaking would try to attack Israelis ahead of Israel’s May 29 elections.

The attackers first shot at an armored bus carrying Jewish settlers, but the shots did not penetrate. Nicks on the windshield showed where about a dozen bullets had hit. Two passengers were slightly hurt when the driver slammed on the brakes after the shooting, said a spokesman for the Magen David Adom emergency medical services.

The gunmen’s second target was a bus stop a mile away.

David Reuven Baum, 17, was killed by a bullet that struck his head, and Yair Greenberg, also 17, was seriously wounded by a bullet in the chest.

Reuven’s mother, Frieda Freigel, told Israel radio her family moved to Israel 11 years ago.

``This is not a country with security, this is not a country with peace,″ she said. ``If boys can’t leave the yeshiva (seminary) ... I don’t know what kind of peace this is,″ Freigel told Associated Press Television, speaking in Hebrew with a strong American accent.

It was not immediately known where Freigel and her family had lived before Israel or whether David Baum was an American citizen.

The gunmen fled toward the Palestinian refugee camp of Jalazoun after the two shootings. They apparently lost control of their silver Mitsubishi outside Beit El and the car overturned. The assailants drove off in another car.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ chances in the elections would likely suffer from new Palestinian attacks before the vote. Peres, the architect of Mideast peacemaking, is being challenged by right-wing opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said he would make fewer concessions to the Arabs. The two men have been running neck-and-neck over the past few weeks.

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