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Soldiers, Firing in Self-defense, Fatally Wound an Arab Youth

May 18, 1976
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Two Israeli soldiers, reportedly firing in self-defense, fatally wounded an Arab youth on the Jerusalem-Jericho road outside Jerusalem today. The victim was identified as Abdullah Mustapha Hawass, in his late teens, a pupil at the high school in Shuafat near Ramallah. He died at a Ramallah hospital.

According to a military spokesman, the soldiers were in an army truck that was blocked by burning tires on the highway and stoned by rioting students. They were forced to open fire to extricate themselves from mortal danger, the spokesman declared.

Today’s shooting was the second fatality in 24 hours on the West Bank where disturbances that erupted over the weekend continue. A 17-year-old Nablus girl, Lina Nabulsi, was fatally wounded by Israeli soldiers yesterday. Israeli authorities said the girl was accidentally hit by a stray bullet but her death sparked new outbursts of violence in Nablus and other West Bank towns.

Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur has personally ordered an investigation into the death of the Nablus girl. The soldier, whose rifle went off accidentally, is being held in detention. An investigation has also been ordered into today’s shooting although it was stressed that the soldiers fired only when their own lives were in danger.

Meanwhile, a curfew was imposed on parts of Nablus this morning after high school students blocked roads with burning ties and stoned Israeli security forces. Curfews were also clamped on Jenin where demonstrations and’ rioting occurred and on the Nataba refugee camp near Tulkarem, where. Israeli authorities said, crowds were organizing to riot. Most West Bank schools remained closed today and local merchants in Nablus and nearby towns staged a strike that was only partially effective.

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