Israelis may have planted bomb at Palestinian school

By Nasser Shiyoukhi
Wednesday September 18, 2002


HEBRON, West Bank — Israeli police and Palestinian officials in the West Bank said they believe extremist Jewish settlers planted two bombs in a Palestinian school yard Tuesday. One device exploded, injuring five children. 

Yehoshua Mor-Yosef, spokesman for the Jewish Settlers’ Council, said the bombing was an “immoral and illegal act.” 

Israeli military officials said the explosion occurred near a water cooler in the courtyard of the Ziff junction secondary school south of Hebron. The second bomb was found and safely detonated. The Israeli military controls the junction, a remote region populated mainly by Bedouins. 

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres’ office, meanwhile, said the government had rejected a Palestinian cease-fire proposal during a meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York. 

The proposal by Palestinian Cabinet Minister Nabil Shaath called for an end to Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians in a first phase and an end to all attacks in the second. Peres’ office said the plan was unacceptable because it would allow attacks on those not classified as civilians during its first phase. That was taken to mean Jewish settlers and soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza. 

Shaath said the cease-fire also calls for an Israeli commitment to stop killing suspected Palestinian militants and destroying houses. “If Israel will do that, then this will pave a way for a comprehensive cease-fire, but unfortunately Mr. Peres said that he rejects it,” the Palestinian minister said. 

In other developments, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition by the families of two Palestinian suicide bombers to prevent the destruction of their homes by Israeli forces, Army Radio reported. The two bombers carried out a Dec. 1 attack in which 11 Israelis were killed. Relatives denied they knew of the suicide attackers’ plans. 

Israeli troops entered the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza earlier Tuesday and blew up metal workshops where the Israelis say Palestinians were making weapons, the latest in a series of almost nightly raids by Israeli forces in Gaza.