JERUSALEM (Mar. 23)
A Jewish settler shot and killed a 20-year-old Palestinian whose feet and hands had been bound after he had stabbed another settler in the West Bank.
The shooting in Susia, a Jewish settlement south of Hebron, occurred against a backdrop of rising right-wing calls for vigilantism against Palestinian terrorism, which has shaken this country in a recent wave of violence.
In a separate incident, two Israeli park custodians were injured when Arabs shot at them in the northern Negev.
In the Susia incident, settler Yoram Shkolnick said he shot the Palestinian who was bound because he spotted a concealed grenade and feared the Palestinian planned to use it.
The incident began Tuesday morning when two settlers became suspicious of a Palestinian walking around their settlement and took him to the police for questioning.
On the way to the police in the settlers’ jeep, the Palestinian stabbed one of them in the shoulder. The two settlers grabbed the man’s knife, got him out of the jeep and bound him, the army said.
Shkolnick arrived on the scene later, responding to a radio call for help. He then shot the Palestinian several times at close range.
Police have detained Shkolnick and are questioning him about the shooting.
The army confirmed that a grenade was found on the Arab’s body and said he had been wanted by Israeli security forces for three years for alleged participation in violent demonstrations.
The incident came a day after Israeli tempers flared over stabbings carried out at a high school courtyard by a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, under intense political fire for the wave of violence, called on the public Tuesday to fight back by doubling the number of volunteers in the nation’s civil guard.
CALLS FOR SELF-DEFENSE
He also urged high schools to organize self-defense programs for teen-agers to avert an attack similar to what occurred Monday.
Police Minister Moshe Shahal echoed the call, stressing the importance of the civil guard as an adjunct to the regular security forces in the fight against terrorism.
“We are calling on the people to defend themselves by volunteering,” said Shahal. He said he would like to see thousands more “guarding themselves, their neighborhoods.
“This, I think, is the spirit of the country and we have to renew it,” the police minister said.
The guard has roughly 40,000 volunteers, down sharply from the 150,000 it boasted in the 1970s, Shahal said.
Outgoing Israeli President Chaim Herzog called on the country to unite and allow the security forces to wage the war on terrorism.
He said the recent violent anti-government demonstrations undermined the fight against Arab violence.
Meanwhile, an Israeli officer was imprisoned for two weeks on Tuesday and suspended indefinitely in connection with the killing of a 10-year-old Palestinian boy the day before.
The boy apparently was shot while playing with a toy gun near an army outpost in the Gaza Strip.
Also Tuesday, the Jerusalem municipality decided to transfer responsibility for school security from the Education Ministry to the police in the wake of Monday’s schoolyard attack.