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Israeli Soldier Shoots Deaf Palestinian Boy Israel Investigates Incident While Arab Rioting Continues

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 1997

A deaf Palestinian boy was shot in the head Sunday by an Israeli soldier outside a Jewish settlement, Palestinian officials said, while rioting continued in PLO-controlled areas.

Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Singer, 14, was hospitalized in serious condition. He was walking outside the fence of the Morag settlement in Gaza when he was shot, said Abed Alrazek Magudia, head of the Palestinian police in Gaza.

The area has been the site of a sit-in to protest land confiscations for the past month, but Magudia insisted “there were no clashes and no warning from the Israelis when they shot at him.”

The army said it was investigating the shooting, which comes after eight days of tension and riots in Morag and the West Bank city of Hebron.

Reacting to the recent upsurge in violence, Israel is considering closing its borders to about 20 Palestinian officials it blames for inciting the disturbances, Israel radio reported.

The report said the Palestinian officials included three legislators and Justice Minister Freih AbuMedein, who has called for imposing the death penalty on Palestinians who sold land to Israelis.

Government officials refused to confirm that Israel was considering such measures, but they insisted that the Jewish state had the right to deny entry to Palestinians who provoke violence.

Earlier this month, Israel revoked the entry permit of Palestinian intelligence officer Col. Tawfik Tirawi. News reports had said Tirawi was behind murders of three land dealers and the attempted kidnap of a fourth.

Land is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The Palestinians oppose anything that might erode their claims to lands of the West Bank, Gaza and parts of Jerusalem for what they hope will be an independent state.

Israel has accused Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority of instigating riots in the West Bank city of Hebron and outside the Jewish settlement of Morag in the Gaza Strip.

In Hebron on Saturday, 14 Palestinians were wounded in stone-throwing clashes with Israeli soldiers who responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades.

The protests also spread to the West Bank city of Nablus Saturday.

On Sunday in the autonomous Palestinian community of Ramallah, Palestinian police fired into the air to disperse dozens of Palestinians throwing stones and bottles outside a courthouse to protest the detention and trial of nine men accused of killing collaborators with Israel.

There were no casualties. Police arrested 10 participants in the riot.

The riot seemed to reflect growing dissatisfaction among Palestinians with the Palestinian Authority over corruption charges, poverty and a deadlock in peace talks with Israel.


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