Disturbances on West Bank Lead to Scores of Arrests and Curfew

Serious disturbances were reported in several West Bank towns this morning following clashes yesterday in which an Arab teenager and an Arab woman were shot to death by Israeli soldiers and six Israelis, including five soldiers, were injured by enraged mobs.

Scores of arrests were made in Jenin this morning after military forces battled crowds in the streets. A curfew was imposed on the old section in Nablus and riot police used tear gas and clubs to disperse student demonstrators in Ramallah.

Yesterday’s shooting victims were identified as Bilal Abu Rob, 15 and Fatima Hamdi, 55. The youngster was killed in Kabatiyeh, a town of about 15,000 near Jenin, when Israeli troops fired into a stone-throwing crowd at a roadblock. The woman was fatally wounded several hours later when mourners at the boy’s funeral attacked Israeli troops brought in to keep order. The six Israelis were injured by rocks and by an incendiary bomb that set fire to the canvas cover of their jeep.

REAL AND IMMEDIATE DANGER

Israeli sources said that in both incidents the soldiers involved had been in real and immediate danger. The sources said the roadblock at Kabatiyeh prevented a tank truck from proceeding or backing up while its occupants were subjected to a hail of missiles. The soldier accompanying the civilian driver fired into the air first and then fired into the crowd, the sources said. In the later incident the soldiers were endangered by the fire bomb, according to the sources. Nevertheless, the soldiers who fired the shots were later detained at military headquarters pending an investigation.

The latest eruption of violence on the West Bank has been attributed to advertisements placed in Israeli newspapers by the Gush Emunim announcing that they intended to establish more Jewish settlements in the Arab-populated Samaria district. The Mayor of Kabatiyeh has cabled the United Nations and other international bodies protesting Israeli actions there. The Military Governor summoned the Mayo to his office and urged him to cool the atmosphere in his village.

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