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Egyptians Fire on Israeli Boat Off Taba; One Injured

June 04, 1989|From Associated Press

JERUSALEM — An Egyptian naval patrol shot and seriously wounded an Israeli man Saturday when he refused orders to stop his motorboat in Egyptian waters, Israeli police said.

Egyptian and Israeli officials gave differing accounts of the incident.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Allon Liel said Israel has asked Egypt for a "clarification" of the incident, which occurred in the Gulf of Aqaba, near Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat and Egypt's Taba beach.

An Egyptian coast guard official told the state-run Middle East New Agency that the boat violated Egyptian territory and that Egypt had protested to Israel. The report said Egyptian sailors fired warning shots, but it did not mention any casualties.

Israel's Southern Police District spokesman, Shalom Ben Himo, said that Shlomo Yisraeli, 42, a resident of Eilat, was fishing in his boat when an Egyptian patrol demanded he stop for identification.

"He continued to move," Ben Himo said. "The Egyptians shot a few warning shots in the air and he was struck by a bullet in the leg."

Israel Radio said Yesraelil was treated on the spot by an Egyptian medic. The patrol then let the boat dock at Taba and Yisraeli was transfered to an Israeli hospital, where he was in serious condition, the radio reported.

The Egyptian coast guard official said the patrol vessel was obliged to fire warning shots when the Israeli fishing boat came within 20 yards of the Egyptian coast.

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