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Palestinian Teen-ager Wounded After Stabbing Soldier

February 27, 1989

EL-BIREH, Occupied West Bank (AP) _ A Palestinian teen-ager stabbed an Israeli soldier Monday and then was shot in the head and wounded as troops chased him through a crowded market, the army said.

Radio reports said the assailant was injured with rubber bullets.

Also Monday, a previously unknown Arab group claimed it was holding a paratrooper missing for 12 days.

In clashes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, soldiers shot and wounded 10 Palestinians, according to Arab reports and hospital officials.

The military commander of the West Bank town of El-Bireh, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem, said a Palestinian youth twice stabbed an Israeli soldier who was the last man in a routine patrol passing through a crowded market.

The commander, a paratrooper colonel indentified only as Chai, said the soldier shouted ″I’m wounded 3/8″ and ran with other troops after the 18-year- old attacker.

As the assailant ran into the market, two soldiers fired and hit him once in the head and in the neck, Chai said.

A border police soldier, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the wounded soldier tried to hit his attacker as the two lay side by side on stretchers, but soldiers separated them.

The army identified the soldier as Ratib Subakh, a member of Israel’s Arab Druse minority. He was stabbed in the shoulder and was reported to have suffered minor to moderate wounds.

His assailant was identified only as being only from Ramallah. His condition was not reported.

The attack came three days after a paratrooper was killed in the West Bank city of Nablus when a large concrete block was dropped on his head.

Seventeen Israelis, including six soldiers, have been killed in violence since December 1987 when Palestinians began their uprising against the Israeli occupation. At least 386 Palestinians have been killed.

The kidnap claim came in an anonymous call to the French news agency Agence France-Presse.

A man who spoke Arabic said the Palestinian Arab Army had kidnapped Sgt. Avi Sassportas, 21, and would detail its demands and release a videotape of the paratrooper later. The caller said his group was not affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Sassportas disappeared Feb. 16, after leaving his base in southern Israel to return to his home city of Ashdod.

Army officials disclosed that a similar claim was made five days ago by the radical Marxist PLO faction Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In clashes in the occupied lands Monday, nine people were wounded in the crowded Gaza Strip refugee camps of Shati and Jabaliya. One man was reported shot when troops opened fire to disperse a protest in the West Bank town of Halhoul.

In nearby Bethlehem, Palestinian youths went house to house warning residents to heed a strike ordered by the United Leadership of the Uprising and boycott Israel’s municipal elections Tuesday, Arab reporters said.

A warning written on a Bethlehem wall said: ″The strike forces will be watching for all those who will not observe the strike.″

The army announced the occupied lands will be closed off during the elections and that Palestinians will not be permitted to enter Israel, Israel radio said.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has called on Israelis to vote for his right- wing Likud bloc in the local elections as a sign that Israel rejects any dialogue with the PLO.

Israeli newspapers reported the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement in Damascus, Syria, saying it would not abide by PLO chief Yasser Arafat’s pledge to end attacks on Israeli targets on the Lebanese border.

The Front will continue its ″just struggle against Israeli occupation,″ the newspapers quoted the PLO faction as saying.

Israeli officials already charge that the PLO’s renunciation of terrorism is an empty promise.

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