JERUSALEM (Apr. 19)
The two-day march through the West Bank by the Gush Emunim and their followers ended tonight in Jericho where a curfew was imposed at noon to quash an Arab protest demonstration in the center of town. The military authorities ordered the curfew because a clash seemed likely between the protestors and the first contingents of marchers arriving this morning.
The marchers themselves dispersed quietly outside Jericho. No settlement attempts were reported. But a group who wish to settle in the town told reporters they saw the march as the first step in their dream’s fruition. They recalled that according to Jewish tradition the walls of Jericho were trumpeted down during Passover.
(In New York, Jewish youths held two separate rallies today for and against Gush Emunim and West Bank settlements. See related story this page.)
The march by more than 20.000 Orthodox nationalist militants, which began in the Samarian hills yesterday, precipitated a counter-march by thousands of West Bank Arabs yesterday from Ramallah to Kalandia north of Jerusalem where the protestors dispersed peacefully. But violence erupted anew today in Nablus, the largest West Bank town.
Sayid Taher Jaba, 55, was fatally wounded in a clash between rioters and an Israeli patrol. Jaba, who died in a hospital, was one of three persons shot when Israeli soldiers opened fire to extricate themselves from an alley where they were surrounded by rioters and pelted with stones from rooftops. Yesterday, Israeli troops used tear gas in Nablus to disperse Arab youths who had erected barricades and were burning rubber tires, apparently in protest against the Gush Emunim-march.
UNREST IN JENIN, TULKAREM
Unrest was also reported today in Tulkarem and Jenin where high schools were forced to close as students boycotted classes to participate in demonstrations. The disorder in Jenin appeared to stem less from the Gush Emunim march than from bitterness over the outcome of the April 12 municipal elections.
Jenin was one of the few towns on the West Bank where a moderate candidate garnered the largest number of votes. But an extremist, supported by nationalist groups, may be appointed mayor with the support of a majority of the newly elected councilmen.
Local politics were also responsible for the shootings in Ramallah Friday and Saturday which claimed two lives. Six-year-old Jamil Hamis El Jum was killed when an Israeli soldier accidentally fired his rifle while struggling with a rioter Saturday. A Ramallah businessman. Abdul Nur Janho, defeated in his election bid a week ago, was arrested Friday for allegedly slaying Khalil Issa, 42, in a political dispute. The riots in which the youngster was killed grew out of the earlier shooting.