JERUSALEM (Oct. 2)
Seven Palestinians were killed and scores injured in a weekend of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, coinciding with the observance of Rosh Hashanah in Israel.
At the same time, Israel outlawed Hamas, the Moslem fundamentalist group which has been at the forefront of the Palestinian uprising since its inception nearly two years ago.
Hamas is the second strongest element of the intifada after the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is most popular in the Gaza Strip where it was established.
Outlawing the group will not end its activities, but making it illegal will allow the authorities to arrest anyone on grounds of membership alone without having to prove involvement in any specific illegal act.
The leader of Hamas, Ahmad Yassin, and many other activists are presently in jail under administrative detention.
THREE SOLDIERS INJURED
Yassin was interviewed in his cell last week for the Israel Radio and Television Arabic language services, putting to rest rumors of his death.
Yassin used the interview to denounce the 10-point Egyptian plan Cairo has offered as the ground rules for Palestinian elections in the territories.
In the weekend skirmishes, five of the fatalities occurred in stone-throwing clashes with Israeli security forces. Three soldiers were injured.
Two Palestinians suspected of collaboration were beaten to death by fellow Arabs, the Israeli authorities said.
Nablus, the largest Arab town in the West Bank, was the focal point of violence over the weekend.
Two Arab youths who were dropping bricks from rooftops on patrolling Israeli soldiers were shot down.
Israeli sources claim that while the violence has escalated, morale is dropping among the Palestinian residents of the territories.
NO REPRISALS AGAINST MODERATES
They are feeling despair over the lack of a political solution and their endurance of hardship is weakening, the sources claim.
They attribute these developments to the new policy of the Israel Defense Force, which conducts pre-emptive raids on Arab villages and prolonged searches for suspects.
The Israeli authorities have relaxed in only two areas. They have reopened Arab schools and have given relative freedom to certain popular Palestinian leaders.
They include Faisal Husseini of East Jerusalem, who recently spent 18 months in administrative detention because of his association with the PLO.
In addition, Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem suffered no reprisals for his recent meeting with PLO chief Yasir Arafat.
Nor did Jamil el-Amle, the moderate mayor of an Arab village in the Hebron hills, whose meeting with Arafat reportedly took place with the consent of the Israeli authorities.