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Four More Palestinians Dead As Authorities Lift Sanctions

April 25, 1988
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Four Palestinians died and 20 were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend.

The Israel Defense Force, nevertheless, described the situation in the territories as “relatively quiet” and began Sunday to lift restrictions imposed last week. Several dozen youths detained for taking part in disturbances were released as a good will gesture on the occasion of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Moslem year, which is observed as sacred.

The ban on travel from the territories into Israel proper also was lifted and tens of thousands of Arab day laborers reported to their jobs in Israel on Sunday. Gasoline supplies withheld from the territories in reprisal for disorders were resumed.

But Arab schools remained closed and the commercial strike continued. Curfews remained in effect in many areas.

In East Jerusalem, meanwhile, Israeli authorities have adopted a new strategy to break the four-and-a-half-month-old merchants’ strike without using force.

Shopkeepers, acting on orders from the underground nationalist command, have been open for business for only three hours a day, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jerusalem police ordered 25 selected merchants over the weekend to keep open throughout the day.

The orders were disobeyed and new orders were issued requiring them to keep closed from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily or face legal action, including prison terms of up to two years.

The 25 shops selected are located just outside the Old City walls. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that East Jerusalem is an integral part of Israel and a tourist attraction, the authorities do not want to employ force against the merchants, as they do with commercial strikes in Arab towns in the administered territories.

It is hoped that the threat of legal action will break the strike by May 15, the 21st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. On that occasion, the Israelis would like to demonstrate that life is tranquil and back to normal in East Jerusalem.


Violence broke out on the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem on Friday, the Moslem Sabbath, following noon prayers at the El-Aksa mosque. Five policemen and four worshipers were injured when a mob attacked the police station on the Temple Mount.

The clash was the worst at the site since an Israeli policeman was severely beaten by worshipers in January. An estimated 10,000 Moslems attended the services Friday, three times the usual number, because of Ramadan.

The assassination on April 16 of Khalil al-Wazir, second in command of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who was also known as Abu Jihad, continued to have repercussions in the administered territories.

Palestinians, convinced Wazir was murdered by the Israeli secret service, Mossad, began observing eight “days of anger” ordered by the nationalist leadership of the uprising.

In Idna village, in the Hebron region, border police shot to death a 25-year-old Palestinian, Faraj Suleiman Farajallah, who allegedly attacked them.

Mustafa Abu-Zeid, 20, of Kabatiya village in the Jenin area, was killed when he allegedly tried to attack a border policeman with an axe.

Mohammad Fayez Abu-Ali, 25, of Bani Suheila in the Gaza Strip, was fatally wounded when Israel Defense Force soldiers fired on the car in which he was riding. The soldiers said the car appeared about to run them down.

A fourth Palestinian, not identified, died Sunday at Aliya hospital in Hebron. He reportedly was wounded Saturday in a clash with security forces in Beit Arosh in the Hebron district. According to military sources, troops fired on youths who attacked them with a gasoline bomb.

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