Four Palestinians Killed in Friday\'s Day of Rage, Israeli Woman Seriously Injured in Bomb Attack

Published December 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Violence exploded across the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday leaving four people dead, and an Israeli woman seriously injured in a suicide bomb attack at a restaurant that left seven others hurt, including two seriously. 

Earlier a military source had mistakenly understood that the woman had also died. 

Four Palestinians, including the suicide attacker, also died in clashes with Israelis Friday, declared a "day of rage" by Palestinian militant groups. 

The suicide attacker exploded a bomb, apparently strapped around his waist, at a restaurant often frequented by Israeli soldiers near the Jewish settlement of Mehola in the northern West Bank, Israeli medical officials and media reports said. 

The identities of those involved were not immediately known. 

Also Friday, a Palestinian farm worker was killed during a gunfight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at the Nezarim Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. Both sides blamed the other for his death. 

A Jewish settler further shot dead a Palestinian disguised as an Israeli policeman who attacked him with a knife at a settlement in the southern West Bank Friday, an Israeli army spokesman said. 

The Palestinian had made his way into the Beit Haggai settlement near Hebron in the southern West Bank and tried to stab the settler, who managed to fire his pistol at the attacker. 

The dead man was not immediately identified, and his body was taken into custody by the Israeli army, a military spokesman said. 

Israeli soldiers also shot and killed a Palestinian teenager Friday during clashes near Hebron, hospital officials said. 

Medical officials said Arafat Mishael, 17, died in hospital after Israeli soldiers shot him in the head with a live round in clashes on a road used by Jewish settlers near the Arab village of Siir near Hebron. 

Friday's deaths brought the number of people killed since violence erupted in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel on September 28 to 356, the vast majority being Palestinians. 

Hospital officials in Gaza City identified the dead farm worker as Sallama Eish al-Sawarka, 52. 

The Israeli army said al-Sawarka had been working in a field on the outskirts of the Nezarim south of Gaza City and was killed by Palestinian gunfire. 

Palestinian security officials, however, said that he was shot by Israeli soldiers. 

Seven other Palestinians were shot in clashes with Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers near the Kafr Darom Jewish settlement in central Gaza, medical officials said. 

The fighting there broke out after settlers tried to bulldoze a strip of Palestinian-owned farmland. 

In other violence on Friday, at least 14 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers as thousands held demonstrations to commemorate Jerusalem Day and denounce peace talks with Israel. 

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Israelis fired live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians who threw stones at them at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the Palestinian-run city, medical officials said. 

Of the 14 Palestinians injured there, officials said four of them were hit by live rounds. 

The clashes erupted after about 400 people marched through Ramallah to denounce peace negotiations with Israelis in Washington, which they believe are designed to stop the three-month Palestinian uprising and not to reach a peace deal they would accept. 

In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, some 3,000 Palestinians attended a rally organized by the militant group Islamic Jihad to commemorate Jerusalem Day, celebrated in much of the Arab world on Friday. 

Speaking to the crowds there by telephone, the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hizbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, told Palestinians to continue with their Intifada, or uprising. 

"Our weapons, our blood and our rockets are all yours too, and we will we stay with you until we can pray with you at the Al-Aqsa mosque in united Jerusalem, capital of all of Palestine," Nasrallah said. 

In the Gaza Strip, at least 3,000 Islamic Jihad supporters cheered: "Death to America! Death to Israel!" at a Jerusalem day rally there. 

"The Intifada must continue until liberation of Palestine!" others shouted, including a group of some 30 Islamic Jihad militants dressed in white funerary robes and strapped with dummy bombs in a sign of their readiness to carry out suicide attacks against Israel -- JERUSALEM (AFP) 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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