Hebron violence flares, Hamas threatens attacks

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Reuter / Mazen Dana

Mar 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/22/97

<TITLE>ClariNews: Hebron violence flares, Hamas threatens attacks</TITLE>
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<I><A HREF='http://www.clari.net/'>ClariNet</A> <CLARI-ITEM TYPE>story</CLARI-ITEM> <B><CLARI-ITEM SLUGWORD>MIDEAST</CLARI-ITEM></B> from <CLARI-ITEM FROM>Reuter / Mazen Dana</CLARI-ITEM></I><BR>
<H1><CLARI-ITEM HEADLINE>Hebron violence flares, Hamas threatens attacks</CLARI-ITEM></H1>
<I><B><CLARI-ITEM COPYRIGHT>Copyright 1997 by Reuters</CLARI-ITEM></B></I> / <I><CLARI-ITEM DATE>Sat, 22 Mar 1997 12:40:40 PST</CLARI-ITEM></I><P>
<P> HEBRON, West Bank (Reuter) - A day after a suicide bombing
in Tel Aviv, fierce Israeli-Arab clashes flared in the West Bank
town of Hebron Saturday and the militant Hamas group threatened
more attacks against the Jewish state.</P>
<P> Israeli soldiers in Hebron fired live ammunition, rubber
bullets and teargas at hundreds of Arab protesters who threw
gasoline bombs and rocks.</P>
<P> Hospital officials said at least 20 Palestinians were shot
and another 80 treated for other injuries or teargas inhalation
in some of the most serious Israeli-Palestinian violence in
months. One protester lost an eye.</P>
<P> Yousef Sharawi, director of Alia Hospital, said it was not
yet clear how many of the gunshot wounds were caused by live
bullets, which an Israeli military spokesman told Reuters that
troops fired on several occasions ``when their lives were in
<P> The Israeli army said four soldiers and three paramilitary
border policemen were lightly injured by rocks in the second day
of street battles along what has become a battle line dividing
the Palestinian- and Israeli-controlled sections of the city.</P>
<P> Israeli-Palestinian tension has been high since right-wing
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent bulldozers last Tuesday
to a hill between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to begin a new Jewish
settlement in territory occupied by Israel.</P>
<P> ``The persistence of the Zionists to build the dirty
settlement on Jabal Abu Ghneim will compel us to continue our
attacks, striking against the Zionists,'' said a statement faxed
to an international news agency by Hamas' military wing.</P>
<P> Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with the settlement at
the site Israel calls Har Homa despite Friday's Tel Aviv cafe
bombing that killed three Israeli women.</P>
<P> ``We do not need much effort to prove our truthfulness and
seriousness of our threats ... to teach the arrogant Netanyahu a
lesson he will not forget for days and years,'' said the
statement signed ``Iz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas Movement
Military Branch, Jerusalem - Occupied Palestine.''</P>
<P> An anonymous caller to Israeli police Friday said Hamas
claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. The faxed
statement Saturday referred to the bombing as ``a wonderful
martyrdom operation.''</P>
<P> During the Hebron protests, Arab youths shouted ``With souls
and blood we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Mousa'' --
invoking the name of Mousa Abdel-Qader Ghneimat, a West Bank
resident identified by Palestinian sources as the bomber.</P>
<P> In Muscat, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat criticized
the United States for vetoing Friday a U.N. Security Council
resolution demanding that Israel halt the housing project.</P>
<P> It was the second veto the United States has cast in two
weeks to kill a Security Council resolution demanding that
Israel shelve the East Jerusalem settlement.</P>
<P> Israel's widely condemned plan to build 6,500 homes for Jews
would add another link to an Israeli chain of apartment blocks
cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.</P>
<P> In Gaza, a Hamas source said Ibrahim al-Makadmeh, a leader
of a military wing of the group was arrested by Palestinian
security forces Friday.</P>
<P> Makadmeh, released from jail by Arafat last week, told a
rally Friday after the suicide attack during the Jewish costume
holiday of Purim that only bombs could stop Israel's settlement
<P> Netanyahu had accused Arafat of tacitly giving Hamas a
``green light'' to strike against the Jewish state by freeing
Makadmeh and other militants arrested last year after suicide
bombers killed 59 people in Israel.</P>
<P> Israel clamped a closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip and
sealed the home of the suicide bomber in the Israeli-controlled
West Bank village of Sourif.</P>
<P> Israel radio said Ghneimat had worked as a waiter in Tel
Aviv restaurants and spent four years in an Israeli jail for
Hamas-related activities.</P>
<P> The army said it had arrested 13 Sourif residents and four
people from the village of Nuva in the Hebron area as part of
the investigation of the Tel Aviv bombing.</P>
<P> Israeli authorities Saturday said the baby girl wounded in
the cafe lost her mother in the blast. Anat Rosen-Vinter, 31,
the infant's mother, was identified as one of the three women
killed in the attack.</P>
<P> Television pictures broadcast around the world showed an
Israeli policewoman cradling the baby, dressed in a tattered
clown costume, and looking frantically for the parents. The
infant was taken to the hospital and was expected to recover.</P>
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