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April 5, 2003
 
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(Reuters Photo)
Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian, U.S. Activist Hurt

Reuters


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April 5

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 Russia.

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.


photo credit and caption:
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 Awad/Reuters

Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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