TEL AVIV (Jul. 10)
Work continued without incident today on an access road to a new settlement in Galilee after clashes with local Arab villagers yesterday in which 10 people were injured and 38 arrested for questioning and possible arraignment on charges of stoning police.
The clashes involved inhabitants of the Arab village of Mailia who protested the road being built by the Jewish National Fund on State-owned land where the new settlement Mitzpeh (lookout) is located. According to senior police officers, the disturbances were the result of political incitement by the Rakah Communist Party and supporters of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The JNF insisted that no privately owned land was touched. An agreement had been signed the day before with the local council and village elders to permit the work to proceed without harassment.
But when the bulldozers arrived, villagers began to demonstrate. They blocked the road with piles of burning tires and stoned the JNF drivers. Police summoned to the scene were also stoned. They called for reinforcements and finally dispersed the demonstrators with tear gas. The injured included tractor drivers, police and some local residents.
Five so-called lookout settlements are scheduled to be built in that hilly region of Galilee in the near future The JNF said today that the work will continue according to plan.