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Settlers injure 3 Palestinian journalists

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 11, 2001


HEBRON, West Bank -- Israeli settlers in the West Bank beat three Palestinian journalists Saturday, two days after a Reuters camera crew came under fire from an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip.

Reuters TV cameraman Mazen Daana and sound technician Nael Shiyoukhi, and Hussam Abu-Allan, a photographer for French news agency Agence France-Presse, were beaten by settlers in the divided city of Hebron, eyewitnesses and a hospital official said.

Their injuries were light, although they had bruises all over their bodies.

About 500 settlers live in Hebron, surrounded by more than 100,000 Palestinians. Groups of settlers took to the streets Saturday, throwing stones at Palestinians and attacking Palestinian journalists, eyewitnesses said.

Countries protest Powell's remarks on Jerusalem

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Iran and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday echoed other Mideast nations that have criticized Secretary of State Colin Powell's statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Powell told Congress on Thursday that while there is no immediate plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv, President Bush is committed to moving it "to the capital of Israel, which is Jerusalem."

The Emirates foreign minister summoned the U.S. ambassador to convey its protest, and Iran accused the United States of favoring Israel over the Palestinians.

"These comments are dangerous, constitute a deviation from declared U.S. policy and are in flagrant violation of international resolutions," the official Emirates News Agency quoted the foreign minister, Sheik Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as telling U.S. Ambassador Theodore Kattouf.

"COLE' TRIAL: The United States has asked the Yemeni government to postpone the trial of those detained in connection with the bombing of the destroyer USS Cole, Western diplomats said Saturday. The U.S. Embassy declined to comment on such a move. No date for the start of the trial has been released.

PALESTINIAN JUDICIARY: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat promised an independent Palestinian judiciary Saturday. Palestinian human rights activists have accused the Palestinian Authority of various human rights abuses.

"There is no one above the law, from me to the smallest person," Arafat said at the Palestinian Legislative Council's first full plenary session since fighting with Israel broke out five months ago.

LEBANESE CONVICTIONS: A military court has convicted 16 people of collaborating or having contact with Israel during its 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon, sentencing them to prison terms ranging from two weeks to two years.

The defendants also were ordered to pay fines ranging from $136 to $666.

In verdicts issued late Friday, the court also acquitted two people and dropped charges against two others for lack of evidence.

The special military court has been trying collaborators since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May. Its verdicts cannot be appealed.

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