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Army Arrests 25 Hamas Alleged Followers, Israeli Shoots Arab

May 31, 1993

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The army said Monday that it has arrested 25 Palestinian members of a fundamentalist vigilante squad that killed an Israeli soldier and two Palestinians since December.

The vigilante squad, which operated in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, belonged to the fundamentalist Hamas movement, said in an army statement. The army didn’t say when the arrests were made.

Gang members used an M-16 assault rifle to shoot dead the soldier Yuval Totangi in Hebron last December. An elderly Palestinian town leader and a villager were also slain by the group, the army said.

In other assaults, five soldiers, two Israeli civilians and two Palestinians were wounded, the statement said.

Elsewhere, a private security guard shot an Arab dead and wounded another after a traffic dispute in Jerusalem Monday, police and radio reports said.

Munir Abu Nijme, 35, was shot dead at a busy intersection northeast of Jerusalem, police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. His brother, Ismail Abu Nijme, was wounded in the foot. The security guard was held for questioning, Ben-Ruby said. The guard was not identified.

Ben-Ruby quoted the security guard as saying that after a pickup truck carrying Arabs cut his car off, and the Arabs stoned him, he fired first into the air and then at the Arabs.

Saad Abu Najmi, a nephew of the dead man, told Israel army radio, however, that the security company car cut off their car. He said his family was driving to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid el-Adha with relatives.

″They didn’t talk to us, they just came out shooting,″ he said, adding ″We didn’t throw stones.″

Elsewhere, Yussuf Abu Rahm, a 22-year-old Arab, died Monday in Jerusalem of bullet wounds sustained in a May 4 clash with Israeli soldiers in Mughazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Arab reports said.

Monday’s deaths brought to 1,118 the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis in their 5 1/2-year uprising against Israeli occupation. Arabs have killed 731 fellow Palestinians, mostly suspected of collaboration with Israel, and 136 Israelis have been killed.

Update hourly