Israeli paratroopers ordered holiday shoppers home Saturday after a clash with Arab stone-throwers. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu declared his support for a Palestinian state.
In the Gaza Strip town of Rafah, troops opened fire on masked stone-throwers, killing two and wounding 12, Arab reporters said. The army confirmed death and said the military was investigating reports of a second.The deaths raised the number of Palestinians killed in the two-year uprising to 639. Forty Israelis also have died in the violence and Palestinians have killed at least 161 Arabs on suspicion of cooperating with Israeli authorities.
In Jerusalem, Tutu joined Moslem leaders and activists and bowed his head in silent prayer at a memorial to the almost 600 Palestinians slain in 1982 by Israeli-backed Christian militiamen in Lebanon's Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.
"We support the struggle of the Palestinian people in their longing for statehood and independence," Tutu told Palestinian dignitaries. "We are struggling for our own self-determination in South Africa."
"We pray that the day will come soon when a Palestinian state will exist side-by-side with a Jewish state and Arab and Jew will hold hands together," said Tutu, who arrived Friday for a five-day visit.
In Bethlehem, masked youths burned tires and hurled stones at army patrols near the Church of the Nativity. The site marks the manger where tradition holds that Jesus was born.