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Few Hurt As Israeli Arabs Riot in Aftermath of Sunday Killings

May 23, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

With more than a million Palestinians under curfew in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, violent reaction to the slaying Sunday of seven Palestinian laborers by a lone Jewish gunman spread this week to parts of central and northern Israel.

It reached a peak Monday, when youths throwing rocks and bottles clashed with police in the streets of Nazareth, Taiba, Kfar Sava and other Arab population centers within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

Police fired tear gas to disperse rioting youths in downtown Nazareth, Israel’s largest Arab city.

But the situation has been brought under control, commanders of the Israel Defense Force and the national police reported to the Knesset on Tuesday.

Although there were injuries on both sides, there were no fatalities, a fact attributed to police restraint, which was widely praised by the Knesset members.

Police Chief Ya’acov Terner said he stressed in his orders that shooting was to be avoided unless no other option existed.

As it turned out, no shots were fired directly at the young demonstrators, and in only one instance a policeman fired into the air when he was surrounded by rock-throwing youths, Terner reported.

“These are Israeli citizens,” the police chief was quoted as saying. “The police exercised maximum restraint. The fact is that more policemen were injured in the disturbances than protesters.”

By contrast, at least 11 Palestinians died in clashes with security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Sunday and Monday, and two more were reported killed Tuesday in Gaza.

As many as 700 Palestinians were reported wounded, but discrepancies existed between the figures provided by the IDF and those reported by Palestinian sources.

Several incidents were reported in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

A Molotov cocktail was thrown into a house in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, causing damage but no injuries. Police fired tear gas and wielded batons to disperse an Arab demonstration outside the East Jerusalem YMCA.

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