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3 Palestinians Killed in Nablus, As Tide of Arab Murders Rises

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At least three Palestinians, including a teen-age girl, were killed in clashes with Israeli troops over the weekend, in some of the worst violence to erupt in the West Bank since the Palestinian uprising began nearly 21 months ago.

It was triggered when the Israel Defense Force launched a predawn raid Saturday on a deserted house in Nablus, reputedly a hideout.

Two youths reported to be on the most-wanted list were killed, and three others were wounded.

The dead included Ommar Mohammad Kalabuna, 19, said to have participated in the killing of an IDF soldier in Nablus in February.

The victim of that attack was Sgt. Benny Meisner, whose skull was crushed when a concrete block was dropped on his head from a rooftop.

Saturday’s raid triggered a riot in Nablus, during which 14-year-old Muna a-Tamam was killed and 11 Palestinians were wounded.

The IDF says the circumstances of the girl’s death are unclear. A curfew was clamped on Nablus, the largest Arab city in the West Bank.

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin hinted, meanwhile, that troops will be given a freer hand to fire on suspects in the West Bank, particularly if they are masked.

Masked youths are held responsible for the growing number of murders of Arabs suspected of collaborating with the Israeli authorities.

Four were murdered in the Gaza Strip over the weekend.

According to Israeli authorities, 90 alleged collaborators have been murdered since the uprising began in December 1987. But the vast majority, 70, have been slain this year.

About 16 Palestinians were murdered in the territories last month, more than all the Palestinian murder victims in 1988.

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