Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Amnesty International accused Israeli soldiers of engaging in vandalism during recent raids on Palestinian areas. In a news conference Tuesday, officials with the human rights group also denounced Palestinian terrorist attacks.

But Elizabeth Hodgkin, an Amnesty researcher, said the terrorism did not "justify the violence over the past 18 months we have seen committed daily on Palestinians." The vandalism included smashed television sets, destroyed toys and one torn Koran, Amnesty said.

An Israeli military spokesman, Lt Col. Olivier Rafowicz, said the allegations regarding the Koran "are false and only serve to create an anti-peace environment."