TEL AVIV (Jun. 1)
More than a dozen Palestinians were wounded in clashes with the Israel Defense Force and border police this week in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
The clashes erupted Wednesday when Palestinians protested the killings the day before of two members of the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement by Israeli security forces.
The two Hamas members, who belonged to the group’s Izz a-Din al-Kassam military wing, were shot to death by Israeli security forces Tuesday at a bus stop in Al Ram, a West Bank village located near Jerusalem.
One of the two, Abdul Monem Naji, 25, of the Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, had been sought by the Shin Bet for the February murder of Noam Cohen, an officer with the Israeli internal security agency.
Naji had worked as an informer for Cohen. Shortly after Cohen’s murder, he had boasted how he had lured his handler to his death by arranging for him to come to a meeting in Bituniya, a village near Ramallah.
The IDF, the Shin Bet and the border police’s special anti-terrorist unit were involved in Tuesday’s operation.
Witnesses said that Naji and Zuhair Farah, known as a Hamas activist in Jerusalem, were shot as they got off a bus in the village.
Naji was carrying a loaded pistol when he was shot.
Immediately after the shooting, the entire village of Al Ram erupted in violence, with local residents and people from nearby Ramallah surging through the streets of both towns, burning tires and damaging property.
Soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the mobs when they began to attack the Ramallah police station.
Area residents called for a general strike for Wednesday “as a memorial for martyr Naji.”
Wednesday’s work stoppage and demonstrations, which took place in both Al Ram and Ramallah, were again marked by rioting, with the security services firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators.
More than 13 people were taken to hospitals in Ramallah for treatment.
Two Hamas members who had aided Naji in the February killing of Cohen were found two weeks after the ambush in Abu Dis, a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where one was killed and another captured.