Soldier Absolved in Fatal Shooting of Arab Youth

A military investigation absolved an Israeli soldier of blame today in the fatal shooting of an 18 year-old Arab, Mohammed Mustapha Jibril, at the Dahaisha refugee camp near Bethlehem Friday night. The authorities contended that the soldier had acted according to regulations and could not have avoided killing the youth.

The incident occurred, according to military sources, when an army patrol on a hill overlooking the refugee camp of some 7000 residents noticed two suspicious-looking figures emerging from rocky terrain. The two failed to respond to warning calls or to shots fired into the air, whereupon the soldiers aimed at their legs, the sources said. But because of the darkness and the nature of the terrain, mortal wounds were inflicted on Jibril who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center on Mt. Scopus.

The second suspect was captured unharmed and detained for questioning. The refugee camp was placed under immediate curfew. It was lifted briefly yesterday to allow the residents to shop but was quickly re-imposed when Arab demonstrators marched on the camp from Bethlehem chanting nationalist slogans and waving Palestinian flags.

Camp residents told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that there had been no provocation for the shooting and blamed the Israeli army for unrest at the camp. The army claimed that Dahaisha has been the scene of repeated grenade and Molotov cocktail attacks on Israeli vehicles and that was the objective of the two youths confronted Friday night.

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