JERUSALEM (Dec. 19)
The Israel Defense Force imposed curfews today on three West Bank sites — the casbah in Nablus, and the refugee camps of Balata near Nablus and Daheisha near Bethlehem — following a riot yesterday in Nablus during which Israeli border police killed a 19-year-old Arab high school student. The dead youth was identified as Samir Ghazal Tafloq.
According to military sources, tabloq and a group of his friends were demonstrating on the main road just outside Nablus where residents of the Balata refugee camp were stoning passing Israeli vehicles. Tafloq and his friends surrounded a three-man border patrol and hurled rocks at them from the school grounds and nearby buildings.
The three border policemen, feeling that their lives were in danger, first fired warning shots into the air and then, when this failed to halt the stone-throwing by the youths, fired at their feet. One of the bullets hit Tafloq in the chest. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead.
Nablus residents near the high school told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the shooting yesterday was not justified by the rock-throwing by a few youngsters. Labor Alignment MK Mohammad Watad and Communist MK Tawfiq Toubi issued protests against “the cheap value of Arab blood in the territories.”
The curfew at the Balata refugee camp was imposed last week and then lifted but reimposed today. The camp has been a focus of unrest for some time, since a 14-year-old boy from the camp had been shot by a Jewish West Bank settler last October. Tempers have also been running high in Nablus because a group of Gush Emunim settlers have taken up residence at a newly established yeshiva and study group at what is known as Jacob’s Well in the town.
The refugee camp at Daheisha near Bethlehem has also been under curfew for several days, following unrest in the Judaea area south of Jerusalem. In that area Hebron Mayor Mustafa Natshe has complained that Jewish residents of Kiryat Arba Jewish suburb of Hebron who have moved into the heart of the Arab town have not paid their water or electricity bills for over a year.
The Kiryat Arba residents have countered by threatening to remove an electricity pylon which they claim stands on their land. The pylon carries electric power to Hebron, and the Arab municipality claims that all power pylons are built on municipal land.