Ten killed in occupied east Jerusalem today

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08/12/2000 21:38 - (SA) Ten killed in ME violence

Jerusalem - Ten people were killed in occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday in one of the deadliest days since a Palestinian uprising against Israel broke out two and a half months ago.

In all, seven Palestinians and three Israelis died on Friday, a standing "day of rage" in the territories and the second day of weekly prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

The killings brought the death toll to 316 since the Palestinian uprising or intifada was unleashed in late September.

In one attack in the West Bank town of Jenin, five Palestinians, four policemen and one civilian, were killed after Israeli tanks shelled a Palestinian security checkpoint.

Israeli troops fired the shells "without warning" on the checkpoint at the northern entrance of Jenin, the city's governor Zouheir Manasr had earlier told AFP.

The bodies of the victims were "completely ripped apart," the director of Jenin's hospital, Mohammad Abu Ghali said. The Israeli army confirmed it had shelled a Palestinian target in the city, but did not provide further details.

Meanwhile, in Jericho, further west, an Israeli was killed by Palestinian fire along a bypass road, Israeli public radio said.

The Israeli, who was critically wounded by bullets fired from a Palestinian car, received emergency medical care but died at the site from his injuries, the radio said. Another Isreali in the car was slightly wounded.

Two other Israelis, both settlers, also were killed in another roadside attack, this one near the West Bank town of Hebron. The victims were Rina Didursky, a 39-year-old teacher and mother of five, along with Eliahu Ben Ami, 41, who was driving the car which came under fire, hospital officials said.

Some 400 extremist Jewish settlers live in armed enclaves in Hebron among a total Palestininian population of some 120 000. The town is frequently the scene of clashes, and Palestinian residents in the city centre have been under curfew for much of the past two months.


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak swiftly denounced the attack. "These cowardly attacks against civilians will not stop us from fighting violence and terrorism," said a statement released by Barak's office. "As we have shown in the past, these odious assassins who commit such acts will not go unpunished," Barak said.

In Jerusalem's Old City, where some 3 000 police had braced for unrest, clashes broke out near a main mosque compound following weekly Ramadan prayers.

Ammar Michni, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, was declared clinically dead at a Jerusalem hospital after being shot in the head by Israeli police, hospital officials said.

At least a dozen other Palestinians, many of them stone-throwers, were injured by live bullets during the clashes, which began near the al-Aqsa mosque and later spilled over into the streets.

'Cold-blooded Crime'

In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, 18-year-old Moatazz Azmi Ismail was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after prayers in the holy city, Palestinian police said.

General Abu Bakr Thabet, commander of the Palestinian police in Bethlehem, called the killing a "cold-blooded crime."

Friday's bloodshed occurred after a call for an escalation this weekend in the intifada.

Earlier this week, the National and Islamic forces - a loose grouping of 13 Palestinian factions including Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad - made the call to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the last major intifada against Israel, which ran from 1987 to 1993. - Sapa-AFP


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), December 08, 2000

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