RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank — Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian woman who was searching for her five children Monday during a violent protest by about 500 Arab students, the army and witnesses reported.
An army spokesman said five Arabs were wounded in the street battle at central Manara Square in Ramallah, including a girl of 15 and a 68-year-old man.
It was the sixth day of violence in the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War. The Ramallah clash occurred four days before a scheduled visit by Secretary of State George P. Shultz for talks on how to start Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.
Scattered protests occurred in the occupied Gaza Strip and in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Birzeit, with no injuries reported. Shopkeepers in Arab East Jerusalem, which Israel has formally annexed, closed their doors in a strike.
At Ramallah, a city of 20,000 in the Judean hills 10 miles north of Jerusalem, students boycotted classes and gathered in the downtown plaza to protest Jewish efforts Sunday to pray on sacred Temple Mount, the only major site in Jerusalem under Muslim administration.
Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from Temple Mount, and Jews say the Second Temple stood there until the Romans destroyed it in the year 70.
Some students in Manara Square on Monday stoned a vehicle, slightly injuring a Jewish woman, the army spokesman reported. He said border police rushed to the scene and "came upon violent riots by scores of people."
"They were in a situation of danger to their lives, and they fired to rescue themselves," said the spokesman, who requested anonymity.
Police at first fired into the air, then at the feet of protesters, he said.
Palestinians acknowledged that some students threw stones but claimed that the police fired directly at the crowd.
The slain woman, 35-year-old Amayat Hindi, was in the square trying to find her five children when she was shot in the chest, witnesses said.
"She heard about the violence and she wanted to find her children and take them home," said a chief doctor at the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
An army officer at the scene, identified only as Lt. Col. Zeev, told Israel's army radio the slain woman was not a protester and that the shooting was under investigation.