Israeli Youth Trash W. Bank Gas Station

A group of Israeli youths vandalized the gas station at the entrance to the northern West Bank settlement of Sa-Nur yesterday at noon. The station is owned by Camil Gerard, a native of the adjacent village of Jebaa who is a Canadian citizen.

According to Palestinian witnesses, the vandals trashed the station for several hours, pouring fuel on the floor and causing extensive damage to the building and offices. Military officials said the damage was minimal due to the immediate arrival of the army.

"Yesterday, six or seven law-breaking minors showed up and broke into the gas station," the officials said. "They damaged the station's furniture, but the damage is not too severe because troops nearby arrived within two minutes. The boys saw the troops and fled. Police also arrived, but did not manage to detain the minors," they added.

Gerard said in a telephone conversation from Canada that he is worried the youths might set the station on fire unless the army keeps a better eye on it.

The army ordered the station's closure from August 15 until September 15 due to the impending evacuation of Sa-Nur.

The manager, a Jebaa resident who requested anonymity, said he was alerted by passing laborers, and arrived to find the station open and the teens throwing out items. He said soldiers at the scene did not allow him to enter, adding that older settlers were also present, but did not break into the station, and the youths were seen exiting with black plastic bags.