Arabs Strike in W. Bank City to Protest Shooting

Associated Press

Palestinians called a three-day general strike Saturday in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, which the Israeli army kept closed to outsiders after violence that left two Arabs dead.

Soldiers also shot and wounded at least 10 Arabs who hurled rocks at Israeli patrols and blocked roads with burning tires in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Nablus and the occupied Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said.

Arabs in Hebron called the strike and closed city hall to protest the shooting death of Kayed Hassan Salah, a shopkeeper killed Friday when Jewish settlers and soldiers chased Arabs who stoned an Israeli car. It is not clear how Salah died.

A second Arab, 18-year-old Said Hafez Karaki, died of bullet wounds Friday when soldiers opened fire on a group of masked youths who threw rocks at their patrol, hospital officials said.


Deserted Streets

On Saturday, large numbers of soldiers patrolled desolate city streets to maintain a curfew that restricted Arabs to their homes during the morning. The curfew was later lifted.

An Arab reporter, who lives in Hebron, said Jewish settlers took to the streets of the old city to sing and dance, apparently in celebration of the Succot, or Feast of Tabernacles. The holiday, which ends Monday, marks the biblical exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

There is a small Jewish community in Hebron, which is home to 70,000 Palestinians.


In another development, Israel Radio said a reserve army captain will be reprimanded for tying a handcuffed Arab protester to the bumper of a patrol car in the Gaza Strip. The incident occurred days after the anti-Israeli uprising erupted last December.

A military police investigation concluded that the officer did not mean to humiliate the youth and tied him to the car because there were no spare seats inside, the radio said.

Reports at the time indicated the youth was being used as a shield, to deter others from throwing rocks.