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US FINDS INCREASE IN RIGHTS ABUSES BY ISRAEL

The United States has accused Israel of a ``substantial increase in human rights violations,'' most involving the Palestinian uprising in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The State Department's 1988 human rights report, covering 169 countries, describes Israeli behavior as severely limiting and abusive of Arab freedom.

The findings were criticized by the Israeli Army's chief lawyer, who said they did not account for the security threats facing Israeli soldiers.

But a right-wing member of parliament and former head of the Israeli Army supported the report, saying that occasions when troops were forced to fire on unarmed Palestinians in self-defense were rare.

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