Police Preparing for Arab Strike

Israeli police are prepared to take tough measures to maintain law and order during tomorrow’s Rakah-sponsored strike of Israeli Arabs. Police strength has been beefed up in northern Israel and checkposts have been set up outside Arab villages.

At one such checkpoint last night, police arrested a Jewish man and woman and an Israeli Arab who said they were in a car carrying leaflets from the terrorist organizations and the Communists calling for the strike. Police said the three were detained because they had abused the policemen who had stopped them. Their names were not revealed but the woman was said to be the wife of a security prisoner.

The Communists and others have increased their agitation for the strike which was called to protest the planned expropriation of Arab land in the Galilee for a development project. The radio stations in the various Arab countries have been urging Arabs in the West Bank to join the strike.

Groups of Communists have gone through Nazareth and the Arab villages of the Galilee urging merchants not to open up their stores and not to send children to school and calling upon youths to join the demonstration. In some cases, the exhortations, were reportedly accompanied by threats.

The police have offered protection to any Arab who wants to go to work tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Israel Employers Association has threatened to dismiss any worker without severance pay who is absent tomorrow because of political reasons. The Histadrut backed this stand and urged Arabs to report to work as usual. At the same time, a group of Arab and Jewish lawyers have organized to provide counsel to any Arab who loses his job because he participated in the demonstration.