JERUSALEM (Oct. 29)
Violence erupted anew in the administered territories following a clash between Israeli forces and rioting students at Bethlehem University Wednesday in which two students were seriously wounded and several others overcome by tear gas.
There were rock-throwing incidents Thursday in various parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, three vehicles were damaged and one set afire, but no one was injured.
Military authorities ordered the Bethlehem campus closed for three months because of the rioting. Ishak Abu Srour, 22, a fourth-year English student was hospitalized in critical condition from gunshot wounds. A woman student, Rodayna Al-Ayasseh from the Dahaishe refugee camp, was hospitalized for leg wounds.
Military sources said the first volley was fired at the rioters’ legs. A second shot was aimed at Srour, whom the authorities described as one of the leaders of the riot. They said Srour, who lives at the Aida refugee camp, was involved in previous disturbances for which he was jailed.
The unrest also was attributed to an Israel Defense Force dragnet raid on the Dahaishe camp, long a trouble spot, in which 28 suspects were detained for anti-Israel activities.
According to Davar, the IDF had a list of 40 wanted Palestinian activists. But many of them left the camp because of leaks about the impending operation. Several Knesset members said they would ask the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee to investigate the leaks.
In Gaza Wednesday night, security forces demolished the homes of four terrorists killed in recent clashes with the IDF. The four were allegedly members of the extremist Islamic Jihad. But the demolitions were unusual inasmuch as the occupants of the homes are all dead. Apparently it was undertaken as a warning.
Tension rose in Israel proper Wednesday when some 500 police officers and forest rangers uprooted 900 olive trees planted by Bedouins on state-owned land near Beersheba. No violence was reported.
Meanwhile, Minister-Without-Portfolio Yosef Shapiro was sharply taken to task by key members of the National Religious party after he suggested in a speech Thursday that every Arab who agreed to leave the administered territories should receive a $20,000 bonus.
NRP sources said his remarks damaged the party because they followed the line of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s extremist Kach Party, which has suggested Arabs be offered inducements to leave both Israel and the territories.