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Tougher IDF Measures Are Sapping Palestinian Resolve, Rabin Claims

March 24, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin claimed Wednesday that tougher countermeasures by the Israel Defense Force and punitive sanctions have sapped the will of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to continue their uprising, now in its fourth month.

He said that while the hard-core nationalist leadership has not been deterred, there is “the beginning of fatigue” among the general population, which supported the uprising but is now succumbing to the “intensity of the threat” posed by the IDF’s countermeasures.

One of the most severe measures is the widespread arrests of Palestinian activists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Rabin reported this week that about 3,000 are now in military detention centers, among them organizers of disturbances on the local level.

The authorities also have expanded their use of administrative detentions and have simplified the procedure. Administrative detentions can now be ordered by a senior IDF officer without prior approval of a military court. The change allows the authorities to imprison suspects for up to six months without specific charges or trial.

Israel also is resorting to economic punishment. Arab money-changers who often funnel Palestine Liberation Organization support funds to the West Bank have been prohibited from crossing the Jordan River bridges.

Arab shopkeepers are being pressured into disobeying orders from nationalist leaders about when to open their shops and when to keep them closed. If they comply, the IDF shuts the shops altogether.

Meanwhile, the level of disturbances in the territories was relatively low Wednesday. But four Palestinian youths reportedly were wounded by IDF gunfire during a violent demonstration in Tarkumiya village, in the Judea district of the West Bank.

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