Arab gunmen Thursday fatally shot two West Bank Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel, including a village elder gunned down while driving with his children, radio reports and Arab witnesses said.
Also Thursday, the Moslem fundamentalist group Hamas called for an end to Palestinian infighting, indicating that it has healed its rift with the PLO-backed Unified National Leadership of the Uprising."We must be united despite the differences in our beliefs," Hamas said in an underground leaflet distributed in the occupied lands. "We are . . . against any kind of split."
The rapprochement came after several meetings between the two groups in the past two weeks, Arab sources said.
Hamas repeatedly has challenged the leadership of pro-PLO groups in orchestrating the uprising. Last month, Hamas staged a successful general strike in defiance of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Two sons of the slain village leader, an 8-year-old and a 14-year-old, were wounded in the attack in Biddya in the occupied West Bank, military sources and Israel radio said.
The dead mukhtar, or traditional village leader, was ambushed by gunmen while driving his car. He was identified as 46-year-old Mustafa Salim Abu Bakr.
Witnesses said the elder's body was set on fire with his car after the attack.
The army confirmed the death and clamped a curfew on Biddya, 45 miles north of Jerusalem. The radio said troops arrested several Palestinian suspects.
Military sources said there had been past attempts on Abu Bakr's life, including a gun attack in August.
The second Palestinian, 25-year-old Ahmed Sahour, was sprayed with gunfire in a cafe in the Israeli Arab village of Umm El Fahm, where he had been in hiding since being chased out of the nearby West Bank village of Amin, the radio and Arab witnesses said.