JERUSALEM (Feb. 3)
Violence escalated again in the administered territories Wednesday and rock-throwing extended into a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, after a brief lull earlier in the week, attributed mainly to wind storms and heavy rain.
The disturbances are in their third month, with no signs of abating. The worst riot of the day occurred at Dura village, south of Hebron, where scores of Arab youths hurled stones, burned tires on the main road and tried to storm the municipal offices.
Israel Defense Force troops fired rubber bullets, tear gas and finally live ammunition. Two local residents were wounded and several arrests were made.
Three rioters in Silwad village, near Ramallah, were wounded in the legs by IDF troops. Two Israelis were injured Wednesday morning when their cars were stoned in the Bethlehem area.
A rock-throwing match broke out between Arab youths and Jewish settlers travelling by bus to Gush Etzion, a grouping of settlements south of Bethlehem, Shots were fired into the air. Curfews were clamped on nearby refugee camps.
Stones were thrown at the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train in the Arab village of Battir. Troops intervened to restore order.
A school bus taking Jewish children from their Jerusalem school to the settlement of Har Arad, west of Jerusalem, was pelted with rocks. There were no injuries, but furious parents threatened to keep their children home Thursday unless measures were taken to protect them while traveling.
Arab youths from neighboring villages smashed the windows of Jewish homes in the East Talpiyot neighborhood of Jerusalem. A number of stone-throwing incidents were reported in the Gaza Strip, where the windshield of a prison van was smashed. Gaza and Khan Yunis remained paralyzed by commercial strikes.
Meanwhile, the civil administration announced it would close all Arab schools in the West Bank until further notice.