Territories Return to Quiet After Weekend’s Bloody Fighting

The West Bank was quiet Monday after one of the most violent weekends in recent months saw eight Palestinians shot to death, scores wounded and a number of Jewish settlers severely injured by rocks.

Curfews were in force in Nablus and Kalkilya, in refugee camps in the Nablus area and in much of the Gaza Strip.

Nablus residents went on a three-day general strike to protest the killing of five Palestinian youths there by Israeli security forces last Friday.

Monday was the final day of the strike. But tension continued to run high after the death Monday of 13-year-old Bader Said Karadde.

The boy sustained serious head injuries Dec. 10 when he fell or was pushed from a moving military vehicle. His parents said he was pushed. The Israel Defense Force is investigating the circumstances.

The United States meanwhile criticized both Israel and the Palestinians for the ongoing violence.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley said on Monday that the United States was “deeply concerned over the upsurge in violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis, which resulted in increased injuries and deaths” over the weekend.

“We especially regret the loss of life,” Oakley said, adding that “both sides bear responsibility to avoid violent incidents.”

Arab sources said five people were wounded in disturbances in Gaza Monday, but the IDF had no information about casualties there.

IDF soldiers dispersed angry Jewish settlers who congregated Monday outside the local military government building in the West Bank Arab town of Kalkilya.

They were demanding a meeting with Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Shomron over the growing number of stone-throwing attacks on Israeli vehicles in the territory.

Several Israeli vehicles were stoned in East Jerusalem Monday. A passenger on an Egged bus was slightly injured.

(JTA Washington correspondent Howard Rosenberg contributed to this report.)

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