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Rabin Backs Use of ‘maximum Force,’ As Uprising Concludes 10th Month

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The Israel Defense Force will continue to exercise “the maximum force permitted by law” to quell unrest in the administered territories, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared Saturday.

He spoke during another bloody weekend of violence, as Palestinians marked the end of the 10th month of their uprising.

Three Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in clashes with the IDF on Sunday. The violence continued Monday in Jerusalem, where police dispersed Arab women demonstrators who were stoning security forces and disrupting traffic.

IDF troops raided dozens of villages in the territories over the weekend to quell violent demonstrations. Scores of Palestinians were wounded and many more were arrested.

Two of the fatalities occurred in Yatta village, south of Hebron. The third was a resident of the Rafah refugee camp on the Israeli-Egyptian border. He was identified as Ossama Abu-Dehi, 20.

Abu-Dehi was shot to death by an Israeli border guard, whom he stabbed in the head and arm. The guard had just boarded a bus from Egypt when the incident occurred.

Another Rafah resident was wounded in the shooting, possibly the victim of a stray bullet.

Speaking during a visit to Beersheba, Rabin said he takes full responsibility for the IDF’s tough policies, and he maintained that they are working.

“The mass demonstrations, which were the symbol of the uprising, no longer exist, because the army has instructions to suppress them as they develop,” Rabin the defense minister said.

“The State of Israel must exercise force in the territories, the maximum force permitted by law, to face those inciters. And I believe that this is so essential that we shall eventually win with patience.”

About 250 Palestinians have been killed since the uprising began last Dec. 9, according to Rabin. He said about 18,000 have been jailed. There are about 6,000 Palestinians presently under detention for participating in riots, in addition to some 4,000 imprisoned for terrorist acts.

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