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Most East Jerusalem Shops Closed in Arab Protest; Ten Persons Arrested

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Virtually all shops in East Jerusalem were closed today in a near total general strike called by an Arab underground group to protest last Sunday night’s riots by Israeli youths following a series of grenade explosions in West Jerusalem. Police arrested 10 persons today on suspicion of having coerced shop-owners to close their doors. Police also dispersed groups of agitators who tried to organize street demonstrations.

Police were alerted to a possible strike when crudely stenciled leaflets calling for a strike were distributed yesterday to East Jerusalemites. The leaflets were signed by the “Popular Front,” a clandestine organization previously involved in strike calls in Ramallah and other West Bank towns. Heavy police guards were posted this morning, mainly to protect shopkeepers who chose to open for business. Some did, but shut down when agitators accused them of being “traitors to the Arab cause.” Israelis from West Jerusalem came to the Old City for shopping as usual, apparently unaware of the strike, but no incidents were reported.

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