JERUSALEM (May. 25)
Jerusalem police re-enforced by border police fought street battles with hundreds of Arab youths throwing rocks and bottles over the weekend in the worst anti-Israel rioting to sweep the Old City in 20 years.
It began Saturday on the final weekend of the Moslem Feast of Ramadan as thousands of Arabs gathered at the Temple Mount for prayer at the El Aksa and Dome of the Rock mosques. In the narrow, winding streets and main thoroughfares traversing the city, objects of every description were hurled at Israel vehicles, including police cars.
Police dispersed the mobs with tear gas. No serious injuries were reported, however, and damage was mostly to windows and windshields. The demonstrations continued past midnight Saturday. A heavy police presence was maintained in the Old City all day Sunday to prevent a recurrence.
A potentially dangerous situation developed on the Temple Mount Saturday, where hundreds of worshippers chanted anti-Israel slogans. Police moved into the area, but religious leaders managed to calm the crowd before new violence developed.
The unrest was attributed to the approaching 20 anniversary celebrations of the reunification of Jerusalem and the start of the Six-Day War on June 5, 1967.
WEST BANK TENSE
Tension continued to run high in the West Bank, where an eight-year-old child from Elon Moreh was kidnapped and murdered last Wednesday, apparently by terrorists. There was also violence in the Gaza Strip, where an Israel Defense Force officer fatally shot a terrorist Friday about to detonate a roadside bomb as a military vehicle passed. Several accomplices fled under fire from IDF troops.
On Saturday, an unidentified gunman wounded Hussein Suleiman, 35, of Araba village, a nephew of Mayor Abdallah Lahkloukh of the West Bank town of Jenin. Security sources believe the bullet was intended for Lahkloukh, a moderate appointed to office by the Israeli authorities.
Security sources reported over the weekend the capture of two terrorist gangs operating in the West Bank. They are believed responsible for planting road mines and attacking Israeli vehicles with gasoline bombs.