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2 More Palestinians Killed, 1 a Boy Reportedly Beaten

February 09, 1988|KENNETH FREED | Times Staff Writer

JERUSALEM — A 15-year-old boy died of head wounds apparently caused by beating, and a Palestinian man was reported killed by Israeli civilians Monday, the latest fatalities in continuing protests by Palestinians against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Reports from Bureij, a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, said that soldiers looking for people who had thrown stones at them took the boy, Ayman Akel, from his home late Sunday, beat him and left him in an orange grove.

Other camp residents took him to a hospital, where he died, according to United Nations relief workers. An army spokesman said the incident is being investigated. He said he could not confirm any details beyond the death itself because the boy had been buried before an autopsy could be performed.

Earlier Beating Death

If the description of the boy's death from the refugee camp is confirmed, it would be the second attributed to beating by Israeli troops since the uprising began.

The other death occurred Monday morning at Kfar Qaddum on the West Bank. Residents told American journalists that Jewish settlers from nearby Kedumin had tried to enter the village and that they shot 25-year-old Abdel-Baset Abdallah.

According to the villagers, a group of Palestinians had set up a roadblock to prevent buses from picking up Arabs who work in Israel. At one point, they said, a Volkswagen van approached the barricade with a red and white kaffiyeh, a form of headdress favored by Palestinian nationalists, displayed on the dashboard. They said Abdallah started toward the van to warn it away, then apparently noticed that the driver was wearing a yarmulke, the skullcap worn by religious Jewish men. Abdallah started to run.

Struck Twice in Head

The villagers said the driver, a man they recognized as a resident of the Israeli settlement, jumped from the vehicle and opened fire with an Uzi submachine gun, hitting Abdallah twice in the head.

A spokesman at the Nablus hospital, where Abdallah was taken, confirmed by telephone that he had died of gunshot wounds in the head. Another resident was wounded, the hospital spokesman said.

If the government should acknowledge that the two latest fatalities were Israeli-related, that would bring to 48 the Palestinian death count in the Arab-Israeli violence that began Dec. 9.

The reports of the beating death of the Akel boy led to several outbursts of violence in the Gaza Strip. A rock-throwing demonstration erupted at the boy's funeral, and the army responded with clubs and rifle fire, wounding at least two people, the military spokesman said. He said the Bureij camp was then put under curfew.

Two Men Wounded

In another confrontation in the Gaza area, the army fought with residents of the Nusseirat refugee camp, wounding two men with gunfire when tear gas and rubber bullets failed to disperse a group attacking the soldiers with stones.

In what military officials described as a gesture to ease tension in the Gaza area, the army commander of the region, Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, ordered the release Monday of "several dozen" people arrested for rock throwing.

There were other reports of troops fighting with protesters throughout the occupied territories. Disturbances continued well into the night at Qalqiliya, a West Bank city less than two miles east of the large Israeli city of Kfar Saba. Residents said by telephone Monday night that gunfire was continuing.

Scattered skirmishes between policemen and protesters disrupted several areas of Jerusalem's Old City, with rioters hurling large stones at Israeli cars and policemen near Herod's Gate. Tear gas was used to drive off the demonstrators. Two young Israelis were injured by stones, the police said.

Two policemen were reported injured by stones when they tried to drive into Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

A major police operation was carried out late Monday night in three Arab suburbs of Jerusalem. Tear gas was used and dozens of people were arrested, according to Israel Radio.

Earlier, leaflets were passed out in East Jerusalem advising merchants that a strike by all Arab businesses in the city would continue for three weeks, extending the shutdown to a total of six weeks.

The commercial strike has been a major irritant to Israeli officials because it runs counter to their claim that Jerusalem Arabs do not share the discontent of the West Bank Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Monday that Israel was incapable of settling the uprising by military means because of self-imposed moral standards.

"We have limitations on how to deal with stone-throwers," he said in the course of a tour of northern Israel, "limitations that we place upon ourselves because we do not want to be human animals."

Instead, he said, troubled areas such as Nablus should be returned to Jordan so that the residents might understand what repression really means. Peres said that Jordan had no such moral limitations when it crushed the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1970.

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