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Curfews Imposed on West Bank Towns Following Violent Anti-israel Demonstrations

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Curfews were imposed on the twin towns of Ramallah and El Byrah today in the wake of stormy anti-Israel demonstrations by Arab high school students who, Israeli authorities believe, were incited by their teachers. Demonstrations were also staged in other West Bank towns, Nablus and Jenin where Labor Minister Joseph Almogi was forced to cancel ceremonies opening the first of six labor exchanges on the West Bank.

In Ramallah and El Byrah, the demonstrations reached a point where riot police had to intervene to disperse the students, mostly girls, with water hoses. The girls hurled stones and empty bottles at police vehicles and shouted “Nasser, Nasser” and “we are all Fedayeen (commandos).” Some of them denounced King Hussein of Jordan and screamed “traitor” at local Arab leaders who tried to calm them. Police called in the fire brigade which sprayed the demonstrators with water containing an unwashable red dye. Its purpose, authorities explained, was to identify adults participating in the disturbances and to alert parents that their daughters were involved in activities of which many parents disapprove.

According to military government sources, the demonstrations were started by the girls. Authorities believe that they are influenced by women teachers who belong to Arab nationalist women’s organizations and include anti-Israel propaganda in their lessons.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent Amos Ben-Vered reported that Ramallah and El Byrah looked like “ghost towns” when he visited them this afternoon with the permission of the military governor. “A youngster of 16 was the only local inhabitant visible on the streets after the curfew went into effect. He was clutching his books and walking in the middle of the road. He said the boys’ school in Ramallah had not been striking and that the military government had given permission to students with books to remain in school and go home after classes,” Mr. Ben-Vered reported. “Further questioning of the boy indicated that the lesson he learned today was about Jews holding Yom Kippur prayers in the Ibrahimi Mosque which stands over the Patriarches’ Tomb in Hebron and the blowing up of houses there that belonged to terrorists.”

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