JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
A young Israel Defense Force recruit fatally shot a Palestinian youth Sunday in a scuffle over the soldier’s rifle at a bus stop in Petach Tikva.
It was the first IDF killing of an Arab inside Israel since the Palestinian uprising began in the administered territories more than seven months ago.
The victim was not immediately identified by Israeli security forces. One report said he was an Israeli Arab resident of Taiba village. Palestinian sources said his home was Jatt village, near Tulkarm in the West Bank. They identified him as Salim Mahzoul, 21.
The soldier involved was identified as Yossi Hadassi, 18, inducted into military service two months ago. He claimed he was attacked by three Arabs who tried to seize his rifle.
Hadassi was quoted by the army radio as saying he broke away from his assailants, loaded his rifle and fired, hitting one of them. The other two fled, he said.
In Nablus, meanwhile, IDF soldiers wounded three Arabs Saturday during a clash with rioters after a curfew was lifted.
In East Jerusalem, a number of stone-throwing incidents were reported over the weekend. Two people were slightly hurt Sunday when an Egged bus was pelted near Herod’s Gate, inside the Old City walls, and another was stoned on adjacent Saladin Street, East Jerusalem’s main business thoroughfare.
On Saturday, several cars and a police van were hit in East Jerusalem. No one was hurt. Police arrested seven suspects.
Two Arabs suspected of throwing a gasoline bomb at a car near Beit Safafa were arrested over the weekend.
The bomb ignited, but caused no casualties or damage. Beit Safafa is an Arab village on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem that has been incorporated into the municipality.
The Israeli authorities, meanwhile, have ordered all 1,200 Arab schools in the West Bank to end their school year this Thursday, about a month sooner than planned.
The order, affecting some 300,000 pupils, was in response to continuing unrest centered around the schools in the territory.
The schools were reopened by the Israeli authorities only last month, after a five-month closure for security reasons.