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West Bank Violence Continues

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Violence flared in the West Bank for the fifth consecutive day with confrontations between Israel Defense Force troops and rock-throwing, tire-burning mobs blocking roads and assaulting Israeli vehicles. Three Israeli civilians and a border policeman were injured by rocks Monday.

A 12-year-old Palestinian boy was shot to death by soldiers in a melee at the Balata refugee camp near Nablus Monday and six other Palestinians were wounded there and in the Sanjeis and Abu Dis villages near Jerusalem.

The unrest gathered momentum after the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Palestinian at the Balata refugee camp by border police last Friday. That incident followed on the heels of a riot at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah Thursday in which two 22-year-old Palestinian students were killed by the IDF.

The civil administration ordered the Bir Zeit campus closed until January 3, after the Christmas holidays. Curfews were imposed Monday on Ramallah and El Bireh.

The IDF declared a policy of restraint and security forces are trying as much as possible to avoid clashes with demonstrators, a military spokesman said Monday. According to the spokesman, soldiers open fire only when their lives are clearly endangered or demonstrators block the main highways and refuse to disperse.

Arab businesses in East Jerusalem and most West Bank cities remained closed Monday in a commercial strike called Sunday to protest the killings of Arab youths by the IDF.

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