Palestinians Strike Over Killings of Two Palestinians
NABLUS, West Bank (AP) _ Palestinians called a general strike in Nablus today to protest the deaths of two young men in clashes with Israeli troops. Schoolchildren set fire to tires and pelted the police station with stones, and Israeli soldiers fired in the air to disperse them.
Omar Ahmed Ghazawi, 17, was shot to death by an Israeli policeman Wednesday after teenagers stoned the policeman’s squad car, Palestinian sources and the Israeli army said. The Palestinians denied Israeli police claims that Ghazawi appeared to be holding a gun.
In the ensuing riots, Nashaat Haroun, 24, was killed and 11 Palestinians were wounded, Palestinian sources said. The Palestinians threw stones at soldiers and were running away when their path was blocked by undercover troops who opened fire, the sources said.
The army confirmed the second death but denied undercover troops were involved.
Such deadly clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians were common during the 1987-93 Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza.
But with Israel and the PLO talking peace, they have become infrequent and Wednesday’s multiple fatalities were the first in Nablus in months.
Israel and the PLO are trying to finalize a deal extending Palestinian autonomy, under which Israeli troops would withdraw from Nablus and other populated areas in the West Bank.