A military court convicted an Israeli soldier of killing a Palestinian nearly five months ago in the occupied Gaza Strip, the army said Tuesday.
Pvt. Yaakov Tamir, an Ethiopian immigrant, was convicted Monday in the military's southern district court for the Jan. 10 slaying of Touqan Misbeh, 35, in the Shajaiya neighborhood of Gaza, an army spokesman said.Tamir is the first Israeli soldier to be convicted of slaying a Palestinian during the nearly 6-month-old uprising in the occupied territories.
At least 187 Palestinians and two Israelis have been killed since the violence began Dec. 9.
A rock thrown at the car Tamir was riding in sparked the incident. Tamir testified the Palestinian cursed him and his mother as he was being questioned and that the Arab tried to injure him, according to Israeli newspapers.
Tamir said he did not remember what happened but admitted sticking the barrel of his M-16 automatic rifle into Misbeh's stomach and hearing a gunshot. Prosecutors said Tamir was not in danger and there was doubt the Arab tried to harm him.
Also Monday, Dedi Zucker, a member of Israel's parliament or Knesset, released an affidavit from soldiers who said they witnessed fellow soldiers beating prisoners who asked for food at the Dahariya prison on the West Bank. He asked Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin to investigate more thoroughly the allegations of brutality.
The affidavit is the latest in a series of charges that Israeli soldiers physically abused Arab suspects. The military launched an investigation Sunday into charges that soldiers partially buried three Palestinians beneath stones earlier this month.
Rabin has held at least two meetings in the past week with prominent Palestinians, Israeli newspapers reported Tuesday.
In the West Bank today, shops reopened and laborers returned to work after a one-day general strike. Palestinian sources reported at least five people were wounded Tuesday in scattered unrest in the occupied territories. The army could not confirm the reports.
At least four Palestinians were wounded Monday in scattered unrest.
In the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza, a 9-month-old girl lost her eye after being hit by a rubber bullet when soldiers moved in to break up a large demonstration. Palestinian sources said a woman - apparently the child's mother - was wounded by live ammunition, but other reports indicated she was hit by a rubber bullet.