Pig insult sparks West Bank violence
Israeli soldiers, Palestinians injured
July 1, 1997
Web posted at: 11:50 a.m. EDT (1550 GMT)
HEBRON, West Bank (CNN) -- A pipe bomb thrown from a rooftop
exploded in the midst of Israeli troops Tuesday, injuring two
soldiers in a day of Israeli-Palestinian clashes.
Witnesses said Israeli troops shot and wounded at least 24
Palestinians during the violence, which was triggered by
crudely drawn leaflets depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed
as a pig.
The violence started about noon. Dozens of Arab youths threw
rocks, bottles and gasoline bombs at soldiers and Jewish
settlers after breaking away from a peaceful protest called
in response to the drawings. Israeli troops responded with
rubber-coated metal bullets.
The drawings showed a pig donning an Arab headdress with the
word Mohammed written on it in Arabic and English. The pig is
stomping with one foot on the Muslim holy book, the Koran,
while holding a pen in the other. Islam and Judaism regard
pigs as unclean and ban the eating of pork.
Israeli police on Saturday arrested a 25-year-old Jewish
woman from Jerusalem on suspicion of pasting the posters on
about 20 storefronts in Hebron.
Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, condemned the posters.
"Only a sick mind could draw a connection between a pig, the
Koran and Mohammed," Jerusalem District Court Judge Ezra Kama
said on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal by the suspect, Tatiana
Susskind, to be released from police custody.
Susskind told reporters at the court building that police had
coerced her into confessing.
Some of Tuesday's Palestinian protesters distributed drawings
of Netanyahu as a pig.
2 soldiers wounded by pipe bomb
After the pipe bomb fell among a group of Israeli soldiers in
an alley, two of them collapsed to the ground, bleeding and
screaming in pain.
Fellow soldiers carried the two to a nearby enclave of Jewish
settlers. A doctor at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital said both
men were in surgery and that one was severely injured.
There had been reports of a new security cooperation between
Israel and the Palestinians before these latest troubles, but
Palestinian police in Hebron stayed away during Tuesday's
Asked why his men were not at the scene, the Palestinian
deputy commander of Hebron, Col. Awni Natche, said: "We are
preventing more people from reaching the area."
Tensions have been fueled by a freeze in Israeli-Palestinian
peace talks over Israel's groundbreaking for a new Jewish
housing project in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walter Rodgers and Reuters contributed to this report.
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