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Violence Again Grips Territories As Jew Dies from Attack in Hebron

As a Jewish settler killed in a terror attack was buried Sunday, new violence erupted in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The latest explosions of terror activity came as Motti Biton, 32, was laid to rest in Haifa, after his death Friday of gunshot wounds inflicted in the West Bank town of Jenin.

In two daylight attacks in a busy Arab neighborhood in the eastern part of Jerusalem, assailants set an Israeli police car on fire and threw rocks at a Jewish driver, injuring him in the head.

They torched the police car in the parking lot of Israeli police headquarters in Jerusalem’s Sheik Jarrah neighborhood, smashing windows and scratching bodies of eight other cars. The attack took place in a heavily guarded area.

On a nearby road frequently traveled by Jewish drivers, assailants threw rocks at the windshield of a car en route to Mount Scopus.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians stoned soldiers, as well as Jewish-owned cars arriving at the Erez checkpoint to pick up workers for jobs in Israel proper.

Security forces quickly quelled that riot, in which several cars were reportedly damaged.

The demonstration notwithstanding, about 35,000 Arab laborers crossed into Israel, the Israel Defense Force said.

A curfew continued to be imposed on the Wadi Ma’ali neighborhood of the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where a number of shots were fired Saturday night at an Israeli army lookout.

But the army lifted a weeklong curfew on Hebron following the killing last week of 1st Sgt. Shmuel Gersh and the wounding of another soldier while they stood guard duty at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

The unrest threatened to jeopardize efforts by security forces to return the areas to the relative quiet that prevailed prior to a strike by Palestinian security prisoners.

The two-week hunger strike ended in mid-October with an agreement to investigate detainees’ complaints. But continued violence has triggered fears that the intifada is building momentum.

The recent violence has outraged residents of the administered territories.

Jewish settlers chanted “Death to the Arabs” at the gates of the Haifa cemetery where Biton’s funeral turned into a protest against government security policies.

A rabbi representing the Jewish residents of the territories cried: “The Earth has given us a man, and the Earth has taken blood. And we cry: ‘how much longer?'”

Security forces are holding a suspect in the shooting of Biton, who was struck as he shopped in a grocery store in Jenin on Oct. 27.

Mohammad Suleiman Turkeman, 19, of Jenin was picked up after it emerged that a terrorist was hit in the face when Biton’s wife, Molly, sitting in the car, fired her pistol at the assailants. A second suspect is being sought.

The commander of the IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Danny Yatom, was present at the funeral. Paradoxically, the government asked one of its chief critics, Benny Katzover, head of the Samaria regional council, to represent it at the funeral.

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