Arabs Re-open Stores in Jerusalem; Striking Bus Firm Loses Concession to Operate
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Arabs Re-open Stores in Jerusalem; Striking Bus Firm Loses Concession to Operate

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Israeli military authorities issued orders today closing a number of shops in the Old City of Jerusalem whose Arab owners took part yesterday in a one-day strike and suspending activities of the Arab Public Bus Company which halted operations during the strike, The orders were signed by Brig. Uzzi Narkis, central front commander. Special buses were put into operation on the affected routes between the Old City and neighboring villages.

Jerusalem was calm again today after the one day strike against Israeli authority in the Old City, as were Nablus and Hebron in the occupied West Bank section despite a call from Amman Radio to merchants in the two occupied cities to follow the East Jerusalem example and strike. Today’s orders included revocation of the concession of the Arab bus firm, which operates 14 buses, and cancelation for three months of the licenses of the closed shops. Other Arab-owned enterprises in the Old City sector were operating as usual today.

Previously, police said that they knew the identity of some of the Arabs who instigated the strike. One youth was arrested last night for threatening an Arab bread peddler who refused to stop his selling. No further arrests or incidents were reported since last night and there were no demonstrations in connection with the strike.

Police also reported that leaflets calling for the strike had been distributed by about a dozen Arab youths. One complaint in the leaflets was about the imposition of income taxes by Israeli authorities on Old Jerusalem residents and a purchase tax on stocks of Arab merchants. The Jordanian Radio gave extensive and well-informed coverage to the strike and police said they were looking for evidence linking the shutdown with orders from Jordan.


Israeli officials reported today that Arab residents in the Israeli-held West Bank sector appeared to have ignored a call from the Jordanian Radio in Amman to follow the example of the Arabs in the old section of Jerusalem who staged a one day strike of commerce and transportation facilities yesterday. The Amman Radio incitement was directed particularly to merchants in Hebron and Nablus.

The radio appeal followed a statement by Abdel Wahab Majali, the Jordanian Finance Minister, urging all Jordanian refugees from the West Bank to return to the area as quickly as possible to serve as “a thorn in the flesh of the aggressor.” He made the appeal as chairman of the Jordanian Higher Committee for Refugees at a meeting in Amman of members of the Jordanian Parliament and West Bank Arab leaders now living in Jordan as refugees.

The Jordanian Government offered a three-months food supply and Jordanian currency worth about $4.20 to all West Bank refugees who returned to their homes. The Finance Minister warned also that the Jordanian Government might stop aid to the refugees who did not go back “to help his brothers to continue their political action and remain a thorn in the flesh of the aggressor until the crisis had been solved.”

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