Israeli fire kills Palestinian boy, wounds seven others as Powell warns Israel on Arafat removal
Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian boy on Sunday evening near an airport on the northern edge of Jerusalem.
Dozens of Palestinians infiltrated into the airport after cutting open the outlying security fence. Israeli soldiers opened fire on them and the boy was killed by the gunfire.
A doctor at a hospital in nearby Ramallah identified the boy as 14-year-old Ahmed Abu Latifa.
Earlier, Palestinian police reported that seven Palestinian students were wounded, one seriously, by Israeli gunfire adjacent to the Kfar Darom settlement in the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of Palestinians set out marching from Dir al-Balah in a demonstration of support for Yasser Arafat. Upon arriving at Kfar Darom, Israeli soldiers opened fire.
The wounded Palestinians, who ranged in age from 9 to 16, were all shot in their lower bodies, witnesses told The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Sunday Israel would incite rage not only among Arabs but also Muslims everywhere by exiling or executing Yasser Arafat.
Powell, speaking during a visit to Iraq, added that Israeli leaders are not helping the US-sponsored peace plan with such statements as vice prime minister Ehud Olmert’s comment that “killing (Arafat) is definitely one of the options” under consideration.
“The Israelis know our position quite well,” Powell told Fox Television.
As for Olmert’s statement to Israel Radio, Powell said: “There are many people in Israeli political life who make statements with regard to their political positions. I don’t think it was helpful.”
He added: “The United States does not support either the elimination or the exile of Mr. Arafat. It’s not our position. The Israeli government knows it.
“And I think the consequences would not be good ones. I think you can anticipate that there would be rage throughout the Arab world, the Muslim world and in many other parts of the world. And I don’t see how, at this delicate moment, that would serve the cause of moving forward on the road map.” (Albawaba.com)
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