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Arab Slain; Israel Holds Palestinians : Editor Seized in Police Raid on News Conference

January 14, 1988|Times Wire Services

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops today detained 10 prominent Palestinians, including a newspaper editor who promoted a campaign of civil disobedience to protest Israel's crackdown on riots in the occupied territories.

Seven of the detainees were released after several hours.

In the continuing violence in the occupied territories, a 30-year-old Palestinian was killed today at an army firing range in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army reported.

The arrests of the newspaper editor and five other Palestinian journalists today appeared to signal a crackdown on newspapers that Israel accuses of helping foment the unrest that has swept the West Bank and Gaza Strip for more than five weeks.

Israeli police raided a news conference to round up two of the journalists. Four other prominent Arabs were detained in the Gaza Strip.

Police said they arrested Hanna Siniora, editor of the Jerusalem Arabic-language newspaper Al Fajr, on suspicion of identifying with a terrorist organization and organizing an unlawful assembly.

Siniora was released on a bail of $650 nearly six hours after he was taken into custody, said police spokesman Rafi Levy.

Siniora said police came to his home when he was in the shower and summoned him to headquarters for questioning.

"They asked me about one incident that happened almost two years ago," Siniora told The Associated Press. "This is a continuation of the same repressive measures the Israelis have been using over the last five weeks. But it will backfire. It just adds fuel to the fire of the uprising."

Siniora launched a civil disobedience campaign last week, which was to begin with a boycott of Israeli-made cigarettes.

Later today, authorities picked up two other journalists, Ibrahim Karaeen and Ghassan Ayub, while they were covering the news conference at a Jerusalem Arab hotel, said other journalists present.

The two were later released, but three other journalists remained in custody. One of them, editor Salah Zuhaikeh of the pro-PLO daily Al Shaab, was ordered held for six months without trial, security sources said.

In the Gaza Strip, soldiers ordered four Palestinians to report to army headquarters for questioning. They were freed later in the day.

Those datained in the Gaza Strip included Faez Abu Rahme, head of the Gaza lawyers' union, Dr. Haidar Abdel Shafi, director of the Gaza Red Crescent Society and Dr. Zacharia Al Azra, head of the Gaza Doctors Assn. There were conflicting reports about the identity of the fourth Gaza resident.

Abu Rahme and Siniora sprang to prominence for having been chosen jointly in 1985 by the PLO and Jordan, and accepted by Israel, as Palestinian delegates to a possible Arab-Israeli peace conference.

In the latest fatality in the occupied territories, Palestinian sources said the man was shot at the firing range near the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, 10 miles southeast of Bethlehem. Military officials said they were investigating. No other details were available.

At least 35 Arabs have been killed in five weeks of violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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