Bloodbath in Palestine is Fifth in Twelve Years
More than 30 Palestinians have been killed and several hundred injured in clashes with Israeli security forces in the Palestinian territories since Friday, in the most serious violence since Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak came to power in July 1999.
The clashes were sparked by the visit Thursday by Israeli right-wing opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the site in east Jerusalem known to the Arabs as the Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam, and to Jews as Temple Mount, the most sacred site in Judaism.
Between 1987 and 1993, the date of the interim Oslo peace accords, the Palestinian territories were swept by the intifada, the popular uprising against Israeli occupation. In the course of six years, 1,258 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops or settlers, according to a tally kept by AFP from Palestinian sources. Most of them, nearly quarter children under 16, were killed when demonstrations were being broken up.
Follows a list of the most costly clashes of the past years:
April 16, 1988: Upsurge of violence in the occupied territories after an Israeli commando assassinates the second-in-command of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Abu Jihad. Toll: 19 dead, about 100 injured.
October 8, 1990: Israeli soldiers open fire on worshippers at the Haram al-Sharif during the most violent demonstrations since the occupation of east Jerusalem in 1967. Toll: 18 Palestinians killed and 150 injured.
February 25, 1994: Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opens fire on worshippers in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank, killing 29 Palestinians. Goldstein, from the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, is subsequently killed by surviving worshippers. The massacre occurs during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and the Jewish festival of Purim.
September 25-27, 1996: Israel opens a tunnel under the Haram al-Sharif, provoking the most serious riots since the 1993 Oslo peace accords, which spread throughout the Palestinian territories. Israeli troops use live bullets against demonstrators, provoking pitched battles with Palestinian security forces. Toll: 71 Palestinians, 16 Israelis killed - NICOSIA (AFP)
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