IDF Arrests Underground Members As Two More Die in West Bank

Israeli security forces have arrested the distributors of a leaflet calling for a general strike by Palestinians in the administered territories, Police Minister Haim Barley announced Thursday.

He said the detainees, members of the Palestinian nationalist underground directing the unrest in the territories, are residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem who allegedly support various terrorist organizations.

The leaflet, titled “Communique No. 11,” ordered the strike Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Israel Defense Force incursion into Jordan to destroy a Palestine Liberation Organization base at the village of Karame. The strike did not materialize.

The Palestinian populace is regularly flooded with clandestine leaflets from the nationalist leadership instructing them where and when to riot or carry out acts of civil disobedience.

Barlev said that all of the leaflets distributed in the territories so far are from different printing plants.

The commander of the Israel Defense Force in the Gaza Strip has ordered all printing plants in the area to obtain licenses and official approval to operate. It is the first such order issued by the Israeli military in many years. Failure to comply could result in closing the plants.

TWO DEAD IN BALATA

Meanwhile, a day of relative calm in the West Bank was shattered Thursday by a riot in the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus. Two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli security forces.

Three border policemen and another Palestinian were injured in the incident, Israel Radio reported. A curfew was imposed on the camp. The violence reportedly erupted when camp residents attacked a border police patrol with stones and iron bars. The police opened fire in self-defense.

Earlier in the day, a resident of Idna village, in the Hebron area of the West Bank, was slightly injured resisting arrest. The IDF imposed a curfew on the village and arrested alleged “agitators.”

In Kiryat Arba, a group known as the Committee for Road Safety, founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane’s extremist Kach Party, denied Thursday that it was responsible for sabotaging fuel pumps Wednesday night at a gasoline station in the Etzion bloc settlements, south of Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the group denied it had threatened the station owner for selling gasoline to Arabs. The fuel pumps were damaged with a sharp instrument. The station has served many Arab customers this week, after the West Bank civil administration curtailed fuel supplies to Arab gasoline stations in the territory.

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