IDF Releases Casualty Figures; Situation in Territories Quiet

The Israel Defense Force reported Monday that 59 Arabs have been killed by its soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since rioting began in the territories Dec. 9.

There were 31 fatalities in the West Bank and 28 in the Gaza Strip, according to an IDF spokesman. More than 500 Palestinians have been injured, 316 in the West Bank and 199 in the Gaza Strip.

The situation in both territories was relatively quiet Monday after a weekend of violent clashes between security forces and rioters during which five Palestinians were killed and 14 wounded.

An Arab resident of Ramallah in the West Bank attempted to stab a soldier Monday. He cut himself with his own knife and was arrested. The soldier was not harmed.

Disturbances broke out in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis when school pupils ran into the streets to throw stones at security forces. A commercial strike was observed throughout the territory, except in Deir Ballah.

Haaretz reported Monday that 40 percent of the approximately 350 Arab sanitation workers employed by the Tel Aviv municipality have shown up at their jobs in recent days. The Arabs are mainly from the administered territories: 60 percent from the West Bank and 15 percent from Gaza.

Haaretz also reported that the IDF has developed a low-cost asbestos blanket to extinguish burning tires. They are being mass produced. More than 9,000 tires have been burned during disturbances in the territories to date.

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