JERUSALEM (May. 23)
Police Minister Shlomo Hillel said today that he believes the wave of unrest on the West Bank and East Jerusalem is over. Security forces have the situation well in hand and are prepared for any new attempts to incite to riot, Hillel said on a radio interview.
He rejected proposals that security forces simply stay cut of Arab population centers and ignore strikes and school closings in order to avoid clashes. “If we adopt such a policy we shall lose control of the situation,” the Police Minister said, adding that Israel was not Lebanon where law and order has broken down.
The West Bank and East Jerusalem were quiet over the week-end except for scattered incidents that were promptly dealt with by police. The Military Government lifted the week-long curfews in most towns where local officials promised to maintain public order.
The mayors of Ramallah and Nablus met with Military Government officials over the week-end. About 200 Arab youths demonstrated in Nablus yesterday, a day after the curfew was lifted in the Casba (market) area. They were dispersed by security forces. A police jeep was stoned and one Arab policemen was slightly injured.
Groups of youths attempted to organize demonstrations in Ramallah and El Bireh immediately after the curfew was lifted. They erected road, blocks and burned tires but eventually dispersed. A truck owned by A bd A-Nur Janho, a former mayoral candidate in Ramallah who is being held on suspicion of murder, was set on fire yesterday. No incidents were reported in East Jerusalem.
Defense Minister Shimon Peres told an audience of army officers over the weekend that Israeli forces dealing with disturbances on the West Bank had demonstrated a high level of self-discipline in face of gross provocation.