IDF Lifts Curfews in West Bank; Rabin Denies Unrest is Worsening

The Israel Defense Force lifted a three-day curfew on Nablus Tuesday evening as a goodwill gesture on the occasion of the Moslem feast of Id el-Adha.

The curfew had been in effect during the first three days of the four-day holiday that marks the end of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

It was imposed because of incessant rioting in the Nablus casbah. But according to Gen Amram Mitzna, commander of the central region, the IDF hopes to create a calmer atmosphere by allowing the largest Arab city in the West Bank to celebrate at least one day of the feast without curfew restrictions.

Curfews also were lifted at the Christian Arab villages of Beit Sahur and Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, meanwhile, accused the news media of exaggerating the facts by reporting that the Palestinian uprising is gaining momentum again.

Rabin told the Cabinet on Sunday that Nablus had been the only trouble spot, while the media created the impression that the entire situation was deteriorating.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres also took issue with media reports Tuesday that Jordan is washing its hands of any responsibility for the West Bank, meaning that the so-called Jordanian option is dead.

The Jordanian option, long advocated by Peres and his Labor Party colleagues, calls for making peace with Jordan and with the Palestinians, who would be part of a Jordanian negotiating team.

Peres reminded reporters at the Knesset that close to a million Arabs living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are Jordanian citizens holding Jordanian passports. He said he doubted that King Hussein would cut himself off from these people.

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