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Gaza Strip Put Under Curfew on Eve of Intifada Anniversary

December 8, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

About 800,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were confined to their homes indefinitely Thursday as the Israel Defense Force clamped a blanket curfew on the territory and sealed it off from the rest of the country.

The measure, effective “until further notice,” is part of the IDF’s plan to avoid an upsurge of violence over the weekend.

Saturday will be the second anniversary of the Palestinian uprising, which began in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 9, 1987.

The curfew is expected to remain in effect at least until Monday, to allow tempers to cool.

Meanwhile, the IDF is pouring reinforcements into the West Bank and Gaza Strip to maintain calm. The movement of journalists in the territories has also been severely curtailed.

Despite the precautions, disturbances escalated during the week.

Palestinian sources reported 14 wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers Wednesday.

Nablus, the largest Arab city in the West Bank, has been under curfew since last Friday, when an IDF squad gunned down four members of a gang, called “Black Panthers,” who were said to have been terrorizing suspected Arab collaborators.

When the curfew was briefly lifted Tuesday to allow for shopping, soldiers were confronted by mobs of youngsters dressed in black and brandishing axes, clubs and Palestinian flags chanting, “We are all Black Panthers.”

Plastic bullets were fired to disperse the demonstrators. Nine were wounded in the melee, which took 90 minutes to subdue.

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