JERUSALEM — A deranged Jordanian soldier who infiltrated from across the border shot and wounded an American kibbutz worker and held an off-duty woman soldier hostage for four hours today before being killed by Israeli troops, officials and news reports said.
The siege ended when soldiers stormed a hut on the Kibbutz Lotan collective farm, 12 miles north of the Israeli port city of Eilat and less than a mile from the Jordan-Israel border.
In Jordan, a military spokesman said the attacker was a Jordanian soldier who had abandoned his post.
The Israeli army said the gunman, who carried an M-16 rifle, was apparently deranged. Press reports said he was seeking to avenge the killing of a sister.
Lauren Rosen, 25, of Birmingham, N.J., who was working as a summer volunteer at the kibbutz, was slightly wounded by a bullet that passed through her neck.
The hostage was a member of an army unit made up of soldiers who live and work on collective farms. She was not identified.
Rosen was quoted by Israel army radio as saying the attacker shouted in English "It's because of my brother!" before opening fire on her, the soldier and a third woman in a date grove near the kibbutz. The third woman escaped.
Soldiers stormed the hut in the date grove where the woman was held after attempting to negotiate with the soldier for several hours, the radio said. It said his only demand during the negotiations was for a copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, which he was given.
In Amman, Jordan, the military official identified the attacker as Farid Ali Mustafa, a soldier.
The senior official, who was not identified, said the soldier "carried out the attack on his own, obviously."
'Very, Very Lucky'
"A man dressed in military dress came out from behind one of the trees and shot one shot, and that was that," Rosen told Israel army radio. "I was very, very lucky. I feel just fine."
She said the man kept mentioning a dead sister and asked the location of Israeli army bases that he could attack.
"He said all the time that his sister was killed, and why was she killed, and why I killed her. So I said I did not kill her at all. He said that the Jews killed her and now he comes to kill everybody," Rosen said.
In Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin used the incident to point to Israel's efforts to fight terrorism.
"For us, fighting terrorism is a matter of night and day, a matter of life and death," he told reporters at the Defense Ministry.
When asked if the attack was by a guerrilla group, Rabin replied that it "was an act by an individual."