JERUSALEM (Jun. 24)
Defense Minister Moshe Arens, in a departure from past policy, has given Jewish settlers in the West Bank permission to establish a civil guard.
Jerusalem police, meanwhile, lifted a curfew clamped on three Arab neighborhoods of the capital Friday, following riots in which two Arab youths were fatally shot by border police.
The police lifted the curfew Sunday under pressure from Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek.
But Police Inspector-General Ya’acov Terner warned that if rioting persisted, “there will be more fatalities. There is a limit to the restraint of policemen who are being attacked with iron bars, chains and axes,” he said.
Arens’ authorization for settlers to organize into militia-like armed units was clearly intended to appease them, as violence continued in the territories and spread to Israel proper.
Four people were injured Saturday when an explosive charge detonated in a plastic garbage can on the beach at Ein Gedi on the Dead Sea.
A gasoline bomb was thrown Sunday at a home in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of northern Jerusalem.
Jewish residents of the Neveh Ya’acov neighborhood demonstrated for the second consecutive night Sunday against the escalation of stone-throwing. Police intervened to prevent Jews from attacking the nearby Arab neighborhood of Dahiyat el-Barid.
The riots in Jerusalem and the curfews that followed — a measure only rarely taken in Israel’s capital — seemed to mark a turning point.
The riots were unique in that they occurred in the Silwan, Abu Tor and Ras el-Amud areas, which had been relatively quiet in the past.
Abu Tor is a neighborhood with Jewish and Arab sections. Before the intifada, they coexisted harmoniously, but recently relations soured.