Curfews Imposed in Tulkarem and Bethlehem, Arab Shops in East Jerusalem Confiscated
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Curfews Imposed in Tulkarem and Bethlehem, Arab Shops in East Jerusalem Confiscated

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Curfews imposed on Tulkarem where Arab businessmen went on strike yesterday, and on Bethlehem, where students attempted an anti-Israel demonstration, were lifted today as Defense Minister Moshe Dayan reported to the Cabinet on rising unrest in West Bank towns and villages. Most Arab business establishments in East Jerusalem remained closed today for the second day following confiscation of 15 Arab-owned shops and restaurants by Israeli authorities. The confiscations were ordered under emergency regulations of 1945. The premises were seized in order to serve as billets for policemen assigned to strategic points in the city to keep the peace, Israeli authorities said.

Nablus was the only sizeable West Bank town where a round-the-clock curfew remained in effect today. Other West Bank towns–Ramallah, El Byrah, Beit Jala, Hebron and Jericho–were not placed under curfew and were quiet after a series of anti-Israel demonstrations and business shut-downs during the past week. The curfew in Bethlehem, a largely Christian-Arab town, was the first since the June, 1967 war and was imposed after a group of about 50 schoolgirls staged a demonstration. It was lifted, as was the Tulkarem curfew, after the Mayors and town councillors pledged to prevent further unrest. Shops in Ramallah were open today, among them a pharmacy owned by Mayer Nadim Zaro who was detained last week for inciting anti-Israel demonstrations. He was released after promising to prevent new demonstrations and striked.

Gen. Dayan told the Cabinet that West Bank tension reached a peak yesterday when Arabs demonstrated and went on strike. The occasion was the 51st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, an event that has sparked Arab demonstrations in the past. Israeli authorities took stern measures this time, owing to the rising tension in the West Bank towns. Schools were closed in Nablus and in other West Bank towns. In East Jerusalem, state-run and Moslem schools which normally hold Sunday classes were closed. Tensions ran high and Jews and Arabs shouted at one another outside the Damascus Gate but no incidents were reported.

Observers reported that some of the seized East Jerusalem business establishments were owned by Arabs known to be influential in anti-Israel activities. They noted that some of the shops appeared to have little strategic value and several were within a few feet of each other whereas large stretches of the city had no shops confiscated. Shop owners were given several hours to remove their wares but none apparently did.

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