JERUSALEM (Dec. 21)
Seven Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank Wednesday, and disturbances were also reported in the Gaza Strip, though no casualties were mentioned.
All of the eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip remain under tight curfew.
A curfew continued in Nablus, where a 26 year-old Palestinian died Wednesday of wounds he received in clashes with security forces last weekend.
The widespread curfews and another general strike by the Palestinian population cast an eerie silence over most of the territories.
The strike marked the first anniversary of “Peace Day,” when Israeli Arabs demonstrated in solidarity with the Palestinian uprising. But this time there was no response from the Israeli side of the “green line.”
The intifada, as the uprising is called by Arabs and Israelis alike, is directed by an underground command which instructs the population by distributing leaflets.
The latest leaflet called on Arabs to escalate their resistance to the Israeli occupation. It ordered general strikes for Dec. 28 and Jan. 9.
But the commercial strikes that are in effect daily, starting at noon, will be lifted between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5 to allow Arab Christians to do their Christmas shopping.
The underground command also called off a general strike planned for Bethlehem on Christmas Day.
The leaflets have various other instructions. The local Arabic media have been asked hereafter to use the term “the state of Palestine” instead of “occupied territories” or “West Bank.”
In addition, the underground command claimed that the uprising forced the United States to deal with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat.
It expressed full support for Arafat and rejected Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres’ promise of free elections in the territories if the intifada ends.
Palestinians living in East Jerusalem were urged not to vote in the Jerusalem municipal elections in February.