JERUSALEM (Feb. 19)
A general strike by Palestinians on Monday suspended all activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The strike, reported to be 100 percent effective, was called to protest the large-scale immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel, who Palestinians fear will be settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The clandestine Unified Command of the Palestinian uprising circulated leaflets in the territories calling for “a general strike to protest Soviet immigration to the State of Palestine.”
Palestinians charge that hundreds of Soviet Jews are moving to the territories, attracted by cheap housing that is unavailable in Israel proper.
According to Israeli officials, less than 1 percent of the olim have gone to the West Bank.
The general strike followed a weekend of rioting, which culminated in the death of a 17-year-old Arab girl in Nablus.
The Israel Defense Force is investigating the circumstances of the killing. All that is certain at this point is that the girl was shot.
Meanwhile, the war against terrorist organizations in the West Bank seems to be going well, according to reports from security sources.
The sources said the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, has seized 60 percent of the terrorist groups operating there. They include groups responsible for executing Arabs suspected of collaborating with Israeli authorities.
The Shin Bet, officially known as the General Security Service, has uncovered about 1,000 terrorist cells responsible for more than 3,000 attacks, the sources said.
In recent weeks, Shin Bet agents have arrested 40 members of a Fatah terrorist organization in the Ramallah area. Another 20 suspects have been seized in Idna village, west of Hebron. That group is held responsible for the murder of an Arab policeman.
Some suspects reportedly turned themselves in. Five of 24 in custody from Sinjil village, near Ramallah, surrendered.
The Shin Bet detained three men in Jenin two months ago. They were described as members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and senior intifada activists.