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El Bireh, Ramallah Under Curfew After Slaying of Jewish Settler

April 2, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A curfew remained in effect in the center of Ramallah and the adjacent town of El Bireh on the West Bank today following the fatal shooting of a Jewish settler, Avraham Nabulnik, in the Ramallah marketplace yesterday. The army said the curfew will remain in force at least until Wednesday afternoon.

Nabulnik, a resident of Hadasha, a Jewish settlement just north of Jerusalem, was the second Israeli to be murdered in the Ramallah market-place since February 4 when a soldier was gunned down in almost the same spot, near the central bus station. Jewish settlers throughout the territory reacted with fury.

One response by the Council of Jewish Settlements was to establish an unauthorized — and therefore illegal — new settlement close to Ramallah. Tractors began leveling the ground this morning while volunteers hammered poles into the ground. There was no immediate intervention by the Israel Defense Force.


Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin called Nabulnik’s murder a despicable crime and promised that the authorities would bend every effort to find and punish the killers. The military commander on the West Bank told reporters the security forces would do everything possible to protect Israeli citizens in the territories but warned that it was impossible to guard every individual.

The Council of Jewish Settlements, meanwhile, called for the establishment of a dozen new settlements in the territory in response to the killing. It demanded the immediate arrest of what it claimed were dozens of Palestine Liberation Organization sympathizers in Ramallah and El Bireh and the permanent closure of Bir Zeit University just north of Ramallah, long a center of Palestinian nationalism. The Council charged that the university teaches the ideology which led to yesterday’s murder. The campus has already been closed down for a month because of an anti-Israel exhibit.


According to local accounts, Nabulnik was shot at close range, in the head, in the middle of the teeming market place. Although armed, he had no time to draw his weapon. The killer escaped in the crowd. Nabulnik was employed by the El Bireh municipality which is run by the IDF.

The murder was the only serious incident of violence in the wake of Land Day which is marked each year on March 30 by Palestinian Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories to protest the confiscation of Arab lands in Galilee more than a decade ago.

Three Land Day rallies held by Israeli Arabs in Galilee and the Negev were peaceful despite some strong rhetoric. Tensions ran higher on the West Bank, and in East Jerusalem where a general strike was 100 percent effective. Two Arab youths were slightly wounded in the Dahaisha refugee camp when Israeli soldiers opened fire after a stone-throwing melee. Police fired into the air after rocks were hurled at the police station in Manger Square in Bethlehem. There were no injuries. A Jewish woman was slightly injured by flying glass when a rock smashed the windshield of her car in Kalkilya.

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