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>JN April 9, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 63
Three Palestinians Killed in Hebron Fire Fight
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
An Israeli student opened fire with an automatic weapon near the
"Cave of the Patriarchs" in the West Bank city of Hebron Tuesday.
A Palestinian was killed, sparking riots in which Israeli troops
killed two other Palestinians -- including a 15-year-old boy -- and
more than 100 others were injured.
Two Israeli students were walking along a Palestinian market street
on their way to the Cave of the Patriarchs when, they say, a group
of Palestinians sprayed tear gas at them. One of the Israelis,
aged about 20, responded by firing his automatic weapon, killing
one of the Palestinians and injuring four others. Palestinians say
the student fired without provocation. Israeli troops and angry
Palestinians rushed to the scene with predictable results.
The Palestinians chanted for revenge and pelted the soldiers with
stones and firebombs. The troops fired in response, killing two
more Palestinians and injuring dozens of others. Several soldiers
were also injured.
The series of incidents lasting some five hours took place in the
part of Hebron Israel retained when it gave most of the city to
the Palestinian Authority in January. It was exactly the kind
of event people on both sides fear could spark large-scale violence
in the city.
Early Tuesday, an Israeli colonel accused the Palestinian police of
losing control of crowds forming on their side of town. But later,
an Israeli general praised the Palestinian police after they
blocked roads with vehicles and formed a human chain to prevent
protesters from entering the Israeli zone, drawing volleys of
stones for their efforts.
The atmosphere in the Israeli-controlled area eased toward evening,
as more than a thousand Palestinians gathered on the other side of
the dividing line for the funeral of Tuesday's first victim. The 20
percent of Hebron Israel controls is home to about 400 Israelis and
more than 20,000 Palestinians -- and to the synagogue and mosque at
the biblical cave. The area is one of the most tense in the West
Bank and is frequently the site of attacks by both Palestinians and
The latest clashes took place as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu was flying home from his meeting in Washington Monday
with President Clinton, which produced no apparent progress
toward ending the crisis in the peace process. Also on Tuesday,
Israel's Supreme Court denied an appeal that could have stopped the
east Jerusalem construction project -- a project that sparked the
last three weeks of Palestinian unrest. The Israeli who owned most
of the land said he should have been allowed to develop it, rather
than having it confiscated by the government. But the court ruled
Non-Aligned Movement Agree to Freeze Israeli Relations
More than 100 developing countries have agreed to freeze
relations with Israel in response to a call from Palestinian
Chairman Yasir Arafat. The Non-Aligned Movement countries took the
action at a meeting in New Delhi. The 113-nation Non-Aligned
Movement adopted the declaration unanimously. It calls on members
to freeze relations with Israel until the Jewish state fully
implements Middle East peace agreements.
Swiss Banks Closed Thousands of Pre-War Accounts
Newly-uncovered records show Swiss banks, already in trouble
over the lost money of Jewish Holocaust victims, closed thousands
of bank accounts without holders' knowledge after World War 2.
The records, discovered in archives in Lausanne, show the names of
account holders and their savings, worth millions of dollars at
current values, which may open the way to fresh claims against
Swiss banks have repeatedly stated that they were missing many of
their old archives and documents. But the records belonging to the
Credit Foncier Vaudois Bank list thousands of people, mainly Swiss
but including many foreigners, their bank account numbers, their
towns and the times when they first deposited the money.
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