East Jerusalem Free of Riots on Anniversary of Annexation

A general strike gripped East Jerusalem on the 21st anniversary of its annexation by Israel. But expected rioting did not materialize, due in large measure to the massive police presence.

Police Minister Haim Barlev said this represented a failure for the underground leadership of the Palestinian uprising. Their “Communique No. 20,” circulated earlier in the week, urged public disorder on the anniversary date.

But it also gave security forces plenty of time to prepare for trouble.

“Jerusalem is unified and will remain unified,” Barlev declared. He said that in addition to taking security precautions, the police and the municipality were trying to make personal contacts with various Arab leaders to convince the people that in the long run, violence does not pay.

A motorcade of Herut activists drove through East Jerusalem streets honking horns and waving Israeli flags. Police turned them back when they reached the outskirts of an Arab village, Jabel Mukabar.

In Nablus, meanwhile, a 17-year-old Palestinian youth was wounded Tuesday in a clash with Israeli soldiers. The incident occurred in the town’s casbah or old quarter.

According to a military spokesman, Israel Defense Force soldiers were attacked by crowds of Arab youths who rushed out of the narrow alleyways, throwing stones and wielding sticks.

The soldiers opened fire to disperse the attackers, wounding one, the spokesman said. Sources at Ittihad hospital in Nablus said two Arab youths were brought in with gunshot wounds in their legs. There was no official confirmation.

Meanwhile, the state has appealed a 20month prison sentence imposed on Gal Nitzan, who was found guilty of selling weapons to terrorists. The prosecution contended that the sentence was much too light and said the court put too much weight on Nitzan’s personal problems.

One of the weapons he sold was used in the murder of Yigal Shahaf in the Old City several months ago.

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