Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Israeli Gunfire Wounds 4 at Lebanon Border 200 Celebrating End of Occupation Ignites Response

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Israeli Gunfire Wounds 4 at Lebanon Border 200 Celebrating End of Occupation Ignites Response

Article excerpt

MARJAYOUN, Lebanon -- Israeli troops opened fire yesterday across the Lebanese-Israeli border as 200 people demonstrated and two tried to cross the fence, witnesses said. A union activist said three Jordanians and a Lebanese celebrating the end of Israeli occupation were wounded.

Tarek Tahboub, head of the Jordanian Doctors Association, said a delegation of 150 people representing 14 Jordanian associations was visiting the Fatima gate separating Lebanon and Israel when the soldiers opened fire.

Tahboub said a member of the Jordanian delegation joined by about 50 Lebanese and Palestinians stood along the border fence shouting "Allahu Akbar," or God is Great, when Israeli soldiers emerged from a border outpost. One of them opened fire at the crowd, injuring the four people, he said.

"There was no provocation from our part. We did not throw stones, we did not cut through the fence. We were just shouting in celebration," Tahboub said from a hospital in Marjayoun where the wounded were treated and released. Marjayoun is six miles north of the Fatima gate border fence.

A witness at Kfar Kila, however, said members of the delegation were shouting anti-Israel slogans and that two people, whose affiliations were not known, attempted to cross the border fence.

Israeli soldiers fired warning shots in the air, then aimed at their legs when the two did not retreat, the witness said, insisting on anonymity. He said rubber bullets and live ammunition were fired.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli army spokesman provided the same description of the shooting, but did not say what kind of bullets were used.

A Jordanian government statement issued in Amman said "attacks on unarmed Jordanian citizens are unjustified and unacceptable under any circumstances and make us suspicious of the good intentions [of Israel]." Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. …

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