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Palestinian Shot, Killed by Israeli Troops in Gaza Strip

December 14, 1987|Times Wire Services

KHAN YUNIS, Occupied Gaza Strip — Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian during protests today in the occupied Gaza Strip that U.N. officials called the worst violence in the area since it was occupied by Israel in 1967. Demonstrators paraded the body through town and buried it in a hastily dug grave, Arab witnesses said.

Hospital officials said at least 10 Arabs were injured in clashes between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

It was the sixth straight day of violence in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, territories Israel seized in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Israeli army confirmed that the 25-year-old Palestinian was killed in a clash at Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip's southern edge.

Analysts attribute the recent unrest to a military clampdown after the slaying of an Israeli businessman in the Gaza Strip eight days ago and Arab anger over strong-arm tactics that have led to an unusually large number of Palestinian deaths.

A Palestinian witness said Israeli troops in Khan Yunis fired shots in the air to try to prevent the dead man's family from burying his body, fearing the burial would turn into a mass demonstration.

But the family resisted the troops and ignored warning shots, the witness said.

An Israeli soldier in Khan Yunis told a photographer: "We shot one. He was trying to throw a Molotov cocktail at us, so we had to shoot him."

Since last Wednesday, at least eight people have died and dozens have been injured in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. "The main cause (of the unrest) is . . . the lack of any political solution, any light at the end of the tunnel," former Foreign Minister Abba Eban said on Israel Radio.

"An enormous population, which is in fact a separate nation, is trapped along with Israel in a situation of enforced cohabitation," he said.

About 1.45 million Palestinians live in the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank, nearly a quarter of them in refugee camps.

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