BURIN, WEST BANK, FEB. 29 -- Two more Palestinians died from gunshot wounds in Israeli-occupied territories today as Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said he would consider barring reporters from the areas.
Troops shot dead Yasser Eid, 18, during a violent demonstration at this West Bank village near Nablus, and Ahmed Beittawi, 30, died in a hospital from gunshot wounds suffered last week, an Army spokesman said. Beittawi was from Jenin refugee camp.
Their deaths raised to at least 72 the unofficial toll of Arabs in an 11-week-old Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Politicians in Shamir's right-wing Likud bloc have called for the territories to be closed to journalists, arguing that demonstrators were playing up to reporters and television cameras. Shamir told reporters in northern Israel that "the defense establishment must get involved in the matter, and if it became clear that it could reduce the damage, I would not rule it out."
In Burin, Palestinian youths hurled rocks from hilltops at patrolling soldiers while Arab women threw stones and bottles from a makeshift road blockade. The troops responded by hurling back stones at the protesters and firing shots in the air. One officer used an M16 rifle with a telescopic sight to fire directly at the stone-throwing Palestinians on the hilltops.