JERUSALEM (May. 19)
Jewish and Arab students battled with fists, sticks and stones on the Hebrew University campus today. The melee was sparked by an Arab student demonstration against the use of firearms by Israeli forces to put down disturbances on the West Bank.
Jewish students staged a counter-demonstration singing, dancing and shouting slogans. Both demonstrations which were orderly at first, escalated into name-calling and physical clashes with both sides using rocks and sticks. A television cameraman was beaten up by Jewish students.
Unrest continued in the Old City today where police detained sight persons on suspicion of coercing local Arab merchants to close their shops. Three Arab schools in East Jerusalem were closed Arab demonstrators hurled rocks and bottles at security forces near Herod’s gate. Police dispersed them with tear gas. A bus was stoned in the Arab quarter of Abu Tor but no one was injured and no damage was reported.
The West Bank was relatively quiet today although road blocks were put up by Arab demonstrators in the main street of Jenin and Arabs threw stones at Israeli soldiers. Similar incidents occurred in Jericho. Curfews remained in effect in Ramallah and El Bireh north of Jerusalem. The curfew was lifted in Nablus except for the Casbah district where most of the recent disturbances have occurred.
NEW METHODS TO MAINTAIN ORDER
Defense Minister Shimon Peres said on a television interview today that security forces were considering new methods to maintain public order on the West Bank without bloodshed. He said Israel would keep the Jordan River bridges open and was determined to protect lives and normal activities.
Peres used the interview to reiterate his view that Israel must retain the West Bank for security reasons. “Do we want to see the future border in Rosh Ha Eyin, Kfar Saba and Hadera?” he asked, referring to towns on Israel’s coastal plain.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Shlomo Hillel told the Knesset today that 47 people were killed last year by terrorists in Israel and the occupied territories. Those killed, he said, were 26 Israeli civilians, 14 officers and seven foreign, tourists. In the same period, Hillel added, 40 terrorists were killed in police action during the course of these terrorist attacks.