JERUSALEM (Feb. 10)
Curfews were lifted Wednesday and rioting broke out immediately afterward in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In East Jerusalem, senior police officials said their tough measures – mass arrest and extensive use of tear gas – had subdued rioters and kept the area relatively quiet for the past two days.
But this seemed to be a matter of degree. Stones were thrown Wednesday at the offices of the Barclay Discount Bank on Saladin Street, East Jerusalem’s main thoroughfare. The attack occurred during business hours. Plate glass windows were smashed, but none of the customers in the bank was hurt.
Stones also were thrown at buses in East Jerusalem and roadblocks were erected at several places. Police called these events “local disturbances,” meaning apparently that unlike earlier riots, they were spontaneous, not organized.
Police raided a printing plant in Isawiya village at the foot of Mt. Scopus and seized leaflets, distributed by the hundreds of thousands throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, exhorting Palestinians to continue the “national uprising.” Tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment was confiscated and the plant was ordered closed.
Rioting was reported in Tarkumiya village in the Hebron hills. The army imposed a curfew and arrested several suspects.
TWO WOUNDED IN NABLUS
But Israelis are learning that curfews are effective only as long as they are in force. In Nablus, the curfew in force for the last 10 days was lifted Wednesday morning. By early afternoon, rioters were in the streets again burning tires and staging violent demonstrations in the narrow alleys of the marketplace.
An Israel Defense Force patrol, trapped in one of the alleys, opened fire. Two Palestinians were slightly wounded and hospitalized.
Curfews remained in effect Wednesday in the West Bank towns of Tulkarm, Kalkilya, Beit Ur A-Tahta and Anabta.
The West Bank pattern repeated itself in the Gaza Strip. The IDF lifted the curfew at the El-Bureij and Shati refugee camps. Within hours, local youths rioted in Shati, hurling stones at soldiers and trying to snatch their weapons.
Loudspeakers at mosques urged the residents to take to the streets and attack the IDF patrols. The soldiers responded with live ammunition, wounding two residents of the Shati camp.
A firebomb was thrown at an IDF patrol in the nearby Jabalya refugee camp, but no one was injured.
Military sources confirmed Wednesday that life is far from normal in the Gaza Strip. Most schools are closed and a commercial strike is in effect throughout the territory. Shops are opened for two hours daily to allow local residents to buy food.
ARABS REPORTING TO JOBS
But increasing numbers of Arabs are reporting to their jobs in Israel. Military sources said the rate was 60 percent in Rafah and Khan Yunis, and up to 90 percent in Gaza.
An Arab resident of the El-Mughazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip died in a Beersheba hospital Wednesday of wounds he received when shot by an IDF patrol Jan. 7.
Security sources said Wednesday that an Arab youth whose body was found Tuesday in Attil village near Tulkarm, died of a bullet wound. He was identified as Nabil Abu Khalil, 16. Police investigated the case, because the circumstances of his death were unclear.
Meanwhile, two Jewish settlers from the West Bank were freed on bail by a Netanya magistrates court Wednesday. The settlers, Shimon Lev, 41, and Yosef Farber, 48, both from Kedumim, are suspected of the fatal shooting Monday of Abdul Basit Abdullah, 27, in the Arab village of Kaddum.
According to the charge sheet, they were stopped by a roadblock and pelted with stones while driving through Kaddum. Farber fired an Uzi submachine gun to frighten off the attackers. Police believe Abdullah was hit by one of the bullets.