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Golan Druze Demonstrate; 37 Hurt

February 16, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Druze community on the Golan Heights, quiet during more than two months of rioting by West Bank and Gaza Strip Palestinians, erupted in violent demonstrations on Sunday.

Twenty-five residents were detained during the day-long rioting by hundreds of Druze marking the sixth anniversary of Israel’s annexation of the region.

Four police officers were injured, including a border officer hit on the head by a rock and reported suffering from concussion in a Safed hospital Sunday night.

Thirty-three Druze villagers were injured by rubber bullets or teargas cylinders, while scores of others were overcome by the acrid fumes that hung over the village for most of the day.

The Golan Heights were reported quiet Monday.

On Sunday, the demonstrators waved Syrian flags and demanded that they and their region be returned to Syria, from which it was taken in the Six-Day War of 1967.

They were cheered and encouraged by Syrians and Syrian Druze massed on the other side of the nearby border fence, at a spot known as “Shouting Hill,” where kinsmen and friends gather to shout greetings and exchange news.

Most of the rioting was in and around Majdal Shams, the main town of the Golan Heights, where some 600 of the 1,000 policemen pressed into service were concentrated.

A police helicopter dropped teargas cylinders on the rioters, who threw rocks from rooftops and took refuge in narrow alleys where it was difficult for the border police to follow.

In other news of unrest, the Israel Defense Force scaled off the village of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, Monday morning and searched for residents suspected of incitement. Several youths were arrested.

There also were a number of incidents of stone-throwing reported in the Gaza Strip today.

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