AP NEWS
Related topics

Precede JERUSALEM Army Begins Dismantling Gaza City Prison; Teen-ager Killed

February 15, 1994

GAZA CITY, Occupied Gaza Strip (AP) _ Israel today began dismantling a Gaza prison in the first sign of a troop redeployment under the Israel-PLO accord on Palestinian autonomy.

In the Gaza Strip refugee camp of Rafah, troops shot and killed a 17-year- old Palestinian in a clash that erupted after another teen-age camp resident died of wounds from an earlier demonstration.

In Gaza City, hundreds of Palestinians watched as flatbed trucks pulled seven trailer barracks out of Gaza Central Prison, which holds 850 security detainees.

Soldiers climbed onto the prison roof and took down antennas and small transmitters, Arab reporters said.

″It is clear that the peace agreement is real,″ said Ali Hamada, a 20- year-old student at Gaza City’s Islamic University, as he stood watching soldiers lifting the white trailers onto trucks. ″I’m happy but a little scared because I really don’t believe what I’m seeing.″

On Monday, seven trailers were moved during the day from Ansar II, the army seaside jail where 230 security prisoners are held. The trailers had been used as cells or interrogation rooms by Shin Bet security agents. Seven trailers and 11 army tents remained at Ansar II.

The army spokesman’s office refused comment on the pullout.

But a military source confirmed that moving the trailers was part of the army’s redeployment plan and that it was done in daylight to boost morale among Gazans disheartened by the slow progress in Israel-PLO negotiations.

Israel and the PLO are negotiating the terms of an army withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank region of Jericho. Last week, negotiators overcame a key hurdle by agreeing on security issues. This week’s round in the Egyptian resort of Taba focused on the transfer of civilian authority to the PLO and police deployment.

The youth killed in Rafah today was identified as Ehab Barakat, 17. Arab reporters said soldiers shot him in the head after he and other Palestinians stoned an army observation post in the camp.

The army confirmed the death, but said troops opened fire after an explosive was thrown at their outpost.

The clash erupted in protest over the death of Fares Abu Zakar, 18, an activist of the Red Eagles vigilante squad. Abu Fares was wounded by soldiers as they chased him Friday. He died in an Israeli hospital on Monday.

Today’s fatalities raised to 64 the number of Palestinians killed since the Sept. 13 signing of the Israel-PLO accord. Twenty-two Israelis also have been killed.

AP RADIO
Update hourly