Palestinians Shut Down Occupied Territories; At Least 11 Injured In Clashes
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israeli security forces clashed with Arab protesters in six towns and cities today as Palestinians heeded underground uprising leaders and shut down the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank.
At least 32 Palestinians reportedly suffered injuries from beatings, rubber bullets, and tear gas, Israel radio and Arab reports said.
The army put the injured figure at 11, saying it included an Arab teen-ager who suffered a bullet wound after a clash in the Gaza Strip and a soldier who was hit in the shoulder by a large rock.
The violence broke out a day after Israel launched a crackdown on the uprising by ordering 10 Palestinians deported after accusing them of planning a series of anti-Israeli attacks and riots.
Today’s strikes paralyzed commercial life by shutting shops and halting public transportation in Arab east Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem and Gaza City.
In one clash, soldiers opened fire at the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem after several Palestinians tried to grab a gun from one of the troops and one of them threw stones, an army spokesman said.
Six Arabs were injured by rubber bullets, the spokesman said.
Troops also confronted rioters outside the villages of Abwein and Arura near the West Bank town of Ramallah, beating and injuring three, including a woman, the radio said.
The army confirmed the incident saying soldiers used ″reasonable force″ to detain Arab protesters after several dozen of the demonstrators blocked roads near the villages and pelted troops with large blocks.
One soldier was hit in the shoulder by a block and taken for medical treatment, the army said.
Troops also injured three Arab protesters during a 90-minute clash in Bani Naim near Hebron, Arab news reports said.
Among the casualties was a 45-year-old woman identified as Itimad Daoud Al Manasra, 45, who was hit by three rubber bullets and two Arabs treated after inhaling tear gas, the reports said.
In the occupied Gaza Strip, soldiers detained 20 Palestinians and beat one of them after a stoning incident in Beit Hanoun, just north of Gaza City, said an Arab reporter, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The reporter said Shawki Mohammed Khalil Odeh, 22, told him from his bed at Alia Hospital in Gaza that soldiers detained him at his home after the stoning incident, beat him about the head and kicked him.
Soldiers also maintained curfews for a second day on four refugee camps and part of a fifth in Gaza, Arab news reports said.
On Friday, one Arab youth was killed and five were wounded in clashes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The fatality raised to 216 the number of Palestinians killed since the uprising began Dec. 8 in the territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. Four Israelis also have been killed.
Underground leaders, apparently from rival factions, issued conflicting leaflets calling for a complete commercial shutdown. Each leaflet called for strikes, but differed on when they would begin.
One leaflet distributed this week by an underground Islamic group known as Hamas said today should be ″a day of escalation and striking at Jews.″
The army said Friday it would deport six men from the West Bank and four from Gaza and accused them of planning and carrying out recent anti-Israeli riots and attacks.
The men, aged 23 to 45, all have served prison terms on charges ranging from armed assault to membership in either Fatah or the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the army said. Both are factions of the PLO, which Israel outlaws as a terrorist organization.
In a statement, the army gave no date for the deportations and said the men could appeal the orders to a military advisory board or Israel’s Supreme Court.
Israel has deported 21 Palestinians since the start of the uprising despite repeated U.S. protests that the expulsions violate human rights.
Friday’s fatality was in the West Bank town of Tubas. Troops opened fire, apparently during a protest, and wounded Abdel Kader Amer, who later died of his wounds, a hospital official said.
The army confirmed the death but said it was investigating the circumstances.