Two Palestinians Die; 16 Reported Wounded in Unrest
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israeli troops shot and killed one Palestinian in a clash Saturday in a West Bank village, and Arab reporters said 16 Palestinians were wounded in confrontations throughout the occupied territories.
The army said a second Palestinian died Saturday of gunshot wounds suffered last week. It confirmed that two Palestinians were wounded in the West Bank and said it was checking the other reports.
The deaths raised the Palestinian death toll to 417 since the uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in December 1987. Eighteen Israelis have been killed.
Hospital officials identified the Palestinian killed Saturday as Akram Mustafa Mahmoud Yassin, 24, and said he was shot in the heart. They said Yassin’s family took his body from the hospital and held a funeral that quickly turned into a nationalist demonstration.
The military said the Palestinian was critically wounded after a group of Arabs stoned an army jeep patrol and two soldiers suffered minor injuries. The soldiers took the wounded Arab to Muqassed hospital in annexed east Jerusalem, where he died.
Hundreds of Arab youths waved Palestinian flags as Yassin’s coffin was carried through Bethany. The funeral march broke up after troops said no more than 40 people could participate in the procession and fired in the direction of the crowd.
There were no reported injuries. The army imposed a curfew on the village’s 4,000 residents after the funeral.
Hospital officials identified the other Palestinian who died as Tareq Awad Farah Amir, 23, from the West Bank town of Hebron. He was wounded Thursday.
An army spokesman said the military was investigating reports that Jewish settlers shot the man.
In the West Bank, 12 Palestinians were wounded, including a 13-year-old who was shot in the back and a 15-year-old who was shot in the stomach, Arab reporters said.
Four Arabs, including a 12-year-old, were wounded in Gaza City when troops opened fire to break up a demonstration in the area’s commercial center, sources at Arab hospitals said.
A worker for an international organization in Gaza said that during the demonstration eight Israeli undercover agents wearing kaffiyehs, or Palestinian headdresses, joined the protesters in throwing stones at the soldiers.
The worker, who spoke on the condition that neither he nor his organization be identified, said that as the demonstration grew, one agent pulled out an Uzi submachine gun and began firing in the air. The agents then arrested at least four Arab youths, the worker said.
In another development, the London-based International Press Association sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir deploring the actions of Israeli police, whom it accused of masquerading as journalists.
Police investigators in Israel last week cleared two plainclothes officers who had been accused of putting a TV sign on their rental car as they patrolled Arab east Jerusalem.
The inquiry came in response to complaints from journalists after news photographers filmed the two plainclothes officers driving the car and arresting a 15-year-old Palestinian girl.
Following protests from reporters, Police Inspector-General David Krauss said he would limit the practice by requiring police to seek his permission before masquerading as journalists.
The press institute message, signed by its president, Peter Galliner and released on Friday, said the IPI ″deplores the recent tactics used by Israeli police to impersonate members of the press as a means of arresting Palestinian demonstrators.″
The International Press Institute describes itself as an independent organization representing nearly 2,000 leading publishers and editors in 60 countries.