Dwindling Intifada Re-energized As Two Arabs Are Killed in Riots
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Dwindling Intifada Re-energized As Two Arabs Are Killed in Riots

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At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded by Israeli security forces as rioting erupted in the administered territories and East Jerusalem over Yom Kippur.

The most serious incidents occurred near the Arab village of Silwan, on the road from the Dung Gate entrance to the Old City.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, about 100 masked men wearing improvised uniforms trooped toward the Western Wall, where worshipers were deep in Yom Kippur prayers.

A border police unit dispersed them with tear gas and rubber bullets, and gave chase. Three Arabs were wounded and four were seized.

By evening, unrest had spread to other Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. On Sunday morning, a resident of the A-Ram neighborhood, just north of Jerusalem, was shot to death when an army unit clashed with stone-throwers. He was identified as 16-year-old Asraf Gassen.

Riots were reported in other places in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip in response to the shooting.

Another death, that of Ahmed Mahmoud Shahadah, 54, was reported in Jammain village, near Nablus. The circumstances surrounding his death were not immediately known.

Also unconfirmed were Palestinian reports of two more deaths in the West Bank.

Israeli authorities saw the sudden upsurge of violence as a delayed reaction to the punishment imposed on El-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli soldier was brutally murdered by a mob on Sept. 20, the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

Israel Defense Force bulldozers demolished 26 shops and seven homes last week along the main street near where reserve Sgt. Amnon Pomerantz, 46, was stoned and burned to death.

The IDF insisted the buildings were razed for military security, not punitive reasons.

Police Minister Ronni Milo briefed the Cabinet on the latest events at its weekly session Sunday. He spoke of an increase of violence in Israel proper, especially around Jerusalem.

Until recently, Israeli spokespersons had talked about a dramatic decline in the level of intifada-related violence.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said preserving the peace of Jerusalem was at the top of the national agenda. He vowed every effort would be made to restore law and order.

The weekend’s fatalities were the first since Sept. 16, when a 23-year-old Palestinian was shot to death in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

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