Continuing Violence in the Middle East
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MARGARET WARNER: Gaby Rado of Independent Television News has our Mideast report.
GABY RADO: Inhabitants of Jenin ventured out of doors believing the curfew imposed by the Israeli occupiers had been lifted for the day. It appears to have been a fatal mistake. (Gunfire)
In the mayhem which follows, four Palestinians, including a six-year-old boy and a seven- year-old girl, are killed. Dozens are wounded. The cause of the terrible misunderstanding may never be unraveled. The Israelis have apologized, saying their soldiers appear to have fired in error. The inhabitants say they’d been told the three-day curfew had been lifted.
One of the most harrowing incidents happened late last night near Nablus on the West Bank. The house burning is that of the Zabo family. A Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the Jewish settlement of Itamar where they lived and shot dead five people. They barricaded themselves in the house and an hour-long gunfight took place.
At the end of it, a 40-year-old mother, her three sons aged fifteen, twelve, and five, and a male neighbor have been found dead. The gunman was also killed. Their funerals took place today, friends and family having rushed to Itamar from all parts of Israel. Their death has sprung to 30 the number of Israelis killed in terrorist incidents since Tuesday.
Like these mourners, the nation is numbed by sorrow and bewilderment. Their government has attempted to crush Palestinian militancy, heavy weapons and military rule with no apparent lessening of the violence. When we tried to reach Itamar this afternoon, we were not allowed through by Israeli security forces, but we did meet the twin brother of the man whose wife and children died. He had just attended their funeral.
GABY RADO: Do you think the wall which is being built between the occupied territories and Israel will help to save people like your family?
MAN: No, no. No, the Palestinians want to kill us, everything. Everything doesn’t work.
GABY RADO: Do you know what the answer is?
GABY RADO: As if to confirm his pessimism, nearby we encountered a group of Israeli soldiers attempting to keep alive a Palestinian who’d been shot in the chest. Young Jewish settlers tried to prevent us filming the incident. The roadside first aid attempt was a losing battle, and within minutes, the man died. The woman mourning for his death in the ambulance was apparently on her way to hospital. We were told the man, 21-year- old Adnan Idris Abdul Hamed, had been shot in the chest at his home a mile or so away by Jewish settlers.
When we found his home, a group of mourners had already gathered to comfort his family. He had apparently been shot after he fled to the roof of his house as settlers threw stones and burned two cars.
MAN: We were here inside. Of course he had begun to throw stones and soldiers, soldiers began to throw on him. Then they saw that they are not affecting anyone, so began to shout– began to shoot on him and on the house and everything.
GABY RADO: The women of the Palestinian village wailed outside. Everyone was convinced Jewish settlers, angered by the deaths of the five people in Itamar just a few miles away, had come here to exact revenge.