JERUSALEM (Dec. 16)
Three more Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were wounded in the Gaza Strip Wednesday as violent demonstrations continued for the eighth consecutive day. There was also new unrest in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The soldier was stabbed in his shoulder while on patrol in Rafah, a town at the southernmost end of the Gaza Strip that is bisected by the Israeli-Egyptian border. He fired on his assailants, wounding two of them. According to an Israel Radio report, the soldier sustained light to moderate injuries.
Another Palestinian was wounded by Israel Defense Force soldiers who opened fire at stone-throwers at the Nusseirat refugee camp near Rafah.
Demonstrations broke out again at the Shifa hospital in Gaza, where a Palestinian was killed Tuesday by IDF troops sent to quell a riot on the hospital grounds. Shifa hospital is the receiving center for Palestinians wounded in clashes with the IDF.
Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, IDF commander for the southern region, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that the army was in control of the situation in Gaza. He said his soldiers were under strict orders to fire their weapons only if their lives were in danger.
Disturbances continued at the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus in the West Bank, where three residents were killed by the IDF during a riot Monday. Military sources said the disturbances at Balata were influenced by events in the Gaza Strip.
Five Palestinian demonstrators were arrested in East Jerusalem Wednesday. Police used tear gas to disperse crowds of youths hurling stones at passing cars. Tires were burned on the main thoroughfares, but no injuries were reported.
Schools and shops remained closed in East Jerusalem. The strike by local merchants began Tuesday in protest against Ariel Sharon’s move into an apartment in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City.
Sharon, who is minister of commerce and industry in the Israeli Cabinet, held a housewarming and Chanukah party at his new home Tuesday night, attended by Premier Yitzhak Shamir and other leading political figures. They were guarded by about 300 armed police. No incidents were reported.