JERUSALEM (May. 11)
Three Palestinians were killed and at least 30 were wounded in clashes with the Israel Defense Force in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where blanket curfews were in force from Tuesday to Thursday.
The latest casualty was 17-year-old Silmi Abu-Kas, who was shot to death Thursday morning in Hebron when soldiers removing a roadblock were attacked by Arab rioters.
The territories were sealed off for security while Israelis observed Memorial Day for fallen soldiers on Tuesday and the 41st anniversary of Israel’s independence on Wednesday.
In theory, some 1 million Palestinians were under curfew for the duration of the holidays. But there were numerous violations and widespread disturbances as the intifada seemed to gain momentum rather than wane.
The increased violence coincided with a call from Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat in Tunis to escalate the uprising, “because we are presently at the last quarter of an hour before victory and the establishment of an independent democratic Palestine.”
Curfews were lifted in most of the West Bank on Thursday, but they remained in force for the 700,000 inhabitants of the Gaza Strip for the third consecutive day.
In Bethlehem on Thursday, a British tourist was slightly hurt when her tour bus was stoned.