JERUSALEM (Mar. 21)
East Jerusalem was shut down by a two-hour general strike this morning to protest an aborted attempt by Jewish religious zealots to seize the Temple Mount 10 days ago.
The strike, called by the Supreme Moslem Council, was observed by all Arab merchants and businessmen who closed their shops between II a.m. and I p.m. Students left their classes and special prayer services were held at the Moslem shrines on the Temple Mount.
The strike was generally peaceful. A few youngsters burned tires in the narrow alleys of the Old City and several rock-throwing incidents were reported. But Israeli security forces prevented the disturbances from spreading.
Meanwhile, 29 suspects arrested in the plot to seize the Temple Mount were released on bail by a Jerusalem District Court today. Most are yeshiva students who live on the West Bank. They were ordered to remain in their homes for the duration of the legal proceedings but are permitted to attend religious services on the Sabbath and holidays.
CONTINUED TENSION ON THE WEST BANK
The strike in East Jerusalem coincided with continued unrest on the West Bank. Security forces clamped a curfew on the Nablus casbah after Arab youths threw stones at them. As a result, local merchants were forced to close their shops. Rock-throwing incidents were reported elsewhere in the territory but no injuries were reported.
Tension is expected to rise with the approach of March 30, Land Day, an annual day of protest against the confiscation of Arab-owned land in Galilee. While the protests originally involved only Israeli Arabs, Palestinians in the territories have joined in recent years.