Teen Reported Killed, 15 Arabs Wounded in Occupied Territories
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israeli soldiers reportedly shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian and wounded 15 Arabs in clashes that broke out Saturday during a Palestinian strike to protest Israel’s Middle East peace plan.
Also Saturday, troops burned uniforms belonging to PLO militants that had been stored in an Islamic shrine. They also torched several copies of the Koran, the holy book of Moslems, according to Arab reports.
Arab reports said the strike was observed in the seaside Gaza Strip, where troops on Friday shot and killed three Palestinians.
New confrontations were reported Saturday, and officials at Gaza City’s Shifa hospital said they treated eight wounded, including three teen-agers, from the Shati refugee camp, the village of Beit Hanoun and Gaza City.
In the Khan Yunis refugee camp, soldiers shot Akram Mohammed Schade Saada in the neck and he later died at the nearby Nasser Hospital, hospital officials and Israel radio reported. The military command said it was checking the report.
The army immediately imposed a curfew on the camp, forcing its 35,000 residents to stay indoors, Arab reports said.
Saada was the fourth Palestinian killed in Gaza in two days; 521 Arabs have been killed since December 1987, when the uprising against Israeli rule of the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank began. Twenty-two Israelis also have died.
In the West Bank, merchants also shuttered their stores and transport was grounded, Arab reports said.
Seven Palestinians were wounded in scattered clashes in the West Bank, including a 13-year-old boy shot in the leg during an army raid on the village of Burin, hospital officials said. The army confirmed one wounded.
According to Arab accounts, the army raided the West Bank villages of Osarin and Hawara, and about two dozen residents were reported beaten with assault rifles.
During a raid on Kafr ed-Dik soldiers uncovered a cache of uniforms belonging to activists of the Palestinian Popular Army, an umbrella group of uprising leaders usually linked to the PLO.
The uniforms were hidden in a ″makam Islami″ or an Islamic shrine, and soldiers torched them together with several copies of the Koran, Arab reports said. The army command said it would look into the reports.
Saturday’s general strike was called by the PLO-led underground leaders of the uprising to protest Israel’s Middle East peace plan and press demands for an international peace conference.
The peace initiative, put forward by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, calls for Palestinian elections in the occupied territories to choose non-PLO representatives, who would negotiate temporary self-rule with Israel.
In a leaflet, activists called the plan a conspiracy and said the strike was to ″call on the American administration to hold an international conference, as it is the only way to reach peace in the region.″
Shamir is a staunch opponent of an international conference, saying Israel might be forced to make territorial concessions.
On Friday, the eve of the strike, violent clashes broke out in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah, where soldiers killed three. The city was placed under an indefinite curfew, forcing more than 50,000 Arabs to stay inside their homes.
The head of the army’s southern command, Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, visited Rafah on Saturday to question troops about the clashes. The army said an initial investigation showed that soldiers acted after they were attacked by Palestinians who hurled rocks and metal bars.