— HEBRON, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops killed a
Palestinian gunman who fired on a Jewish settlement outside the
divided city of Hebron on Saturday, the army said.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli tank fire severely wounded an
American peace activist who was outside during a curfew imposed on
the Palestinian city of Jenin, witnesses said.
Despite Washington's appeals for calm, the 30-month-old
Palestinian uprising for independence and Israeli crackdowns have
continued since the start of the war in Iraq two weeks ago.
The United States vowed last week to press ahead with a
long-awaited international "road map" to achieve Palestinian
statehood by 2005 and security for Israel. In Kiryat Arba settlement
outside Hebron, a Palestinian gunman opened fire from a building
outside the perimeter fence as Jewish sabbath ended, but caused no
casualties, the army said. A guard detail stormed out and shot him
dead. Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which
Palestinians want for a state, are often targeted by militants. In
Jenin, Palestinian witnesses said a 25-year-old American man
suffered a bullet wound to the face after being fired on from a
tank. The city, where Islamic groups have carried out dozens of
suicide bombings, was under its second day of curfew.
Jenin hospital staff said the man was in critical condition and
they were trying to transfer him to Israel for treatment.
The International Solidarity Movement to Protect the Palestinian
People (ISM), a group which positions its activists as "human
shields" around the occupied territories, said the injured man was
one of its members in a telephone call to Reuters.
There were no further details on the circumstances of the
shooting available. The army said it was checking the report.
Last month, another American ISM member, Rachel Corrie, was
crushed to death by an Israeli armored bulldozer in Gaza.
The army called that incident a "regrettable accident," saying
the driver could not see Corrie as she tried to block the bulldozer
from demolishing a Palestinian home in a flashpoint border area. The
ISM said Corrie was run over deliberately.
At least 1,968 Palestinians and 727 Israelis have been killed
since the revolt began in September 2000.
Israel accuses Yasser Arafat of fomenting violence -- a charge
the Palestinian president denies -- and demands that he cede power
to a new Palestinian prime minister before it is prepared to
implement the "road map" formulated by the United States and its
"Quartet" partners: the United Nations, European Union and
Israel also wants Washington alone to oversee its security
arrangements. The Palestinians have called for the "road map," which
has languished in diplomatic limbo since last year, to be
implemented at once, unchanged.
|A Palestinian boy throws stones
at an Israeli tank during clashes in the West Bank city of
Jenin, April 5, 2003. Israeli tank fire wounded an American
peace activist in Jenin, Palestinian medical officials and
witnesses said. Photo by Ammar
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