Unrest in the West Bank
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Unrest in the West Bank

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Unrest in the West Bank during which border police and Israel Defense Force soldiers fatally shot a 14-year-old Arab boy near Nablus last Friday and two 22-year-old Bir Zeit University students a day earlier was discussed at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting. No details were made public.

The Cabinet convened as a Ministerial Defense Committee, the proceedings of which are classified. A clash was reported, however, between Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Minister of Commerce and Industry Ariel Sharon. Sharon insisted that the only way to counter Arab rioting in the territory was to increase Jewish settlement there.

Rabin reportedly replied that security could be improved by settlement activity around the perimeters of the Arab-populated centers. Jewish settlements planted in their midst only divert IDF personnel to protect the settlers, Rabin said.


A Cabinet communique issued after the session said the IDF would act to maintain order in the West Bank and ensure the continuation of normal life. The 14-year-old Palestinian was killed when a border police patrol came under a barrage of rocks at the Balata refugee camp near Nablus. They opened fire, killing the youngster and wounding a dozen other rock-throwers who were part of a mob estimated at 150.

A day earlier, IDF soldiers attempting to quell a major riot at Bir Zeit University near Jerusalem killed two students and wounded 11. The dead youths were identified as Saeb Abu Dahhab and Jawad Abu Selmi. They were buried Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Ehud Barak, commander of the central front, said that in both instances the soldiers followed the approved procedure when rioting gets out of hand. They issue verbal orders to cease, then fire into the air and then at the feet of the rioters. He was unable to explain how bullets aimed at feet could inflict fatal wounds.


Violence flared anew Sunday in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. A 17-year-old Palestinian youth was wounded by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip where mobs, inflamed by the killings in the West Bank, hurled stones at Israeli vehicles, burned tires in the middle of the roads and otherwise blocked traffic.

Three Jewish children and an Israeli bus driver were injured when Arabs smashed the bus windshield in East Jerusalem Sunday. Police fired tear gas to break up a clash between about 100 leftist Arab students and 50 Israeli rightwing students on the Hebrew University campus. There were also minor incidents Sunday involving Arabs and Jews at Tel Aviv University and Haifa University.

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