Arabs on the West Bank closed shops, schools and offices in all major towns on thursday (16 December) during a general strike in protest against Israeli occupation.
Arabs on the West Bank closed shops, schools and offices in all major towns on thursday (16 December) during a general strike in protest against Israeli occupation. The strike culminated a week-long wave of unrest in the region.
SYNOPSIS: Tight security measures were conformed in Jerusalem on Wednesday (15 December) following dozens of arrests of Arab youths--suspected troublemakers. A 15-year-boy was treated in hospital for a leg wound. He was shot in an Arab suburb of the city.
The present unrest in the region is linked with the current meeting of leaders of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLO) and discontent over the introduction of new taxes, Israeli authorities said. But Arab sources say the West bank demonstrations are also over Israeli land confiscations and Jewish settlements in the area.
The tax in dispute is an eight per cent value added tax on goods and services imposed on the West Bank--similar to a tax already existing in israel. The Arabs say the introduction of the tax is illegal since it will strongly affect the economy of israeli occupied territory. The strike call, coordinated by local Arab mayors, appeared to be followed in the principal West bank towns except Jericho.
Partial curfews were enforced by Israeli troops, among other places -- on the main road north from Jerusalem, near the Kalandia refugee camp. In Kalandia Arab youths from the camp's school tried to interfere with traffic on the road, threw rocks onto the driveway and set a number of tyres on fire.
Israeli security forces redirected the traffic and made local people help to clear the rocks and a roadblock. The an armored car of the border police went to the camp to announce the curfew. All shops in the area were closed. a similar curfew was ordered on Wednesday (15 December) in the centre of Ramallah after an angry anti-israeli demonstration in which hundreds of arab students took part.