JERUSALEM (Jun. 15)
An Israel Defense Force patrol shot to death a Palestinian youth and wounded another in Battir village in the Bethlehem region Wednesday, touching off rioting there and in nearby Husan village.
The patrol opened fire after four gasoline bombs were hurled at it in Battir. Nidal Ibrahim Hassan, 21, was fatally shot as he was poised to throw a Molotov cocktail, according to security sources.
The wounded youth was also about to throw a gasoline bomb. Both wore veils, the sources said.
After the shooting, riots spread in the village. Roads were barricaded and soldiers were attacked with stones and more firebombs. Youths fled into the mountains, chased by Israeli soldiers. A curfew was clamped on the village at sundown.
Rioting also broke out in Husan, where villagers blocked roads and hurled stones at soldiers. Force was used to break up the disturbances.
About 100 residents of Abu-Dis village, east of Jerusalem, demonstrated against the Israeli presence Wednesday. The IDF dispersed them, after they barricaded the entrance to the village with rocks. Several arrests were made.
Another clash occurred Wednesday between soldiers and young residents of Burik village, near Nablus. One Palestinian youth was wounded.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s announced policy of shooting anyone with a firebomb appears so far not to have diminished the number of gasoline-bomb attacks.
There were 13 in the past six days along the main highway across the Samaria district of the West Bank. A gasoline bomb was thrown Wednesday evening at cars traveling on the road to Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. Another was thrown at an IDF patrol in Hebron. Both missed their target.
Two IDF officers were badly burned Tuesday when gasoline bombs struck an army vehicle in Beit Unmar village on the Jerusalem-Hebron Road.
The officers were hospitalized at the Hadassah Medical Center, where Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the central sector, visited them Wednesday.
Rabin gave orders Monday to “shoot to kill” any attackers seen with gasoline bombs. According to some news reports, he was giving license to Jewish settlers to shoot Palestinians.
Eitan Haber, Rabin’s press adviser, denied that the defense minister had given civilians “carte blanche” to shoot. He said Rabin had stressed that his instructions applied only to soldiers.
Meanwhile, Palestinians in the territories observed a general strike Wednesday in conformity with leaflet instructions distributed by the nationalist underground.
Nevertheless, many Arab day-laborers reported to their jobs in Israel, mainly from the Gaza Strip.
The civil administration suspended for a week the licenses of three bus companies in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Eizariya. They were punished for idling their fleets during the general strike.
Finally, the mayors of Jewish settlements in the West Bank sent warning letters to Rabin and Premier Yitzhak Shamir Wednesday saying that they would take independent action “in self defense” unless the IDF applies “a hard hand” to end the deterioration of the security situation.