An Arab bus driver crashed into an Israeli car Friday, killing an Israeli woman near the occupied Gaza Strip, and was shot dead by another Israeli, military sources said.
Israelis said the driver was killed in a chase after deliberately hitting the car. Palestinian sources said he was shot on the spot after an ordinary traffic accident.
The incident sparked clashes between Palestinians and the army in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, where soldiers have shot to death eight Arabs since the weekend.
It came after the United States, Israel’s guardian ally, joined other U.N. Security Council members in deploring recent violence in the Gaza Strip, “especially actions by Israeli security forces against Palestinians.”
Friday’s U.N. statement was the fourth criticizing Israel since the Persian Gulf crisis began.
Army radio said the Arab deliberately smashed his empty bus into the Renault 5 car about three miles north of the Gaza Strip, and drove off.
Israel Radio said four Israelis in different cars were slightly injured. Police were investigating whether the crashes were politically motivated, it added.
Palestinian sources said the bus hit the car after the Israeli driver ignored a stop sign. Israelis surrounded the bus, and the frightened Arab driver emerged with an iron bar to defend himself and was shot, they said.
The Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip erupted in December, 1987, after a car wreck between Israelis and Arabs in Gaza in which four Palestinians were killed. Palestinian demonstrations spread throughout the Gaza Strip amid rumors that the Israelis ran down the Arabs’ car to avenge the death of a Jew stabbed in Gaza.
Israeli security sources said Friday that the Jewish state, alarmed by the growing power of uprising militants, had stepped up its war against hard-core activists of the Palestinian revolt in the Gaza Strip.