INTRODUCTION: Israeli troops firing tear gas broke up a demonstration on Wednesday (30 March) by hundreds of Arab high school pupils at Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.
INTRODUCTION: Israeli troops firing tear gas broke up a demonstration on Wednesday (30 March) by hundreds of Arab high school pupils at Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. The demonstrations was one of several protests in the West bank to mark the anniversary of last year's violent Arab protests against a government takeover of land, when six Israeli Arabs died. Earlier in the day a small bomb damaged a Jewish restaurant in Hebron, near a shrine sacred to both Jews and Arabs.
SYNOPSIS: The closed shops of Ramallah were evidence of a general business and school strike which hit most of the West Bank. The strike had been called by the Palestine Liberation Organisation. It was in sympathy with the Arab minority in Israel itself.
Rubber tares were set alight in Ramallah and security forces were attacked by stone-throwing youths. The troops retaliated with tear gas, but there were no injuries reported, either at Ramallah or the three other West bank communities where demonstrations occurred.
In Israel itself a road block of burning tares was removed by police near the village of Tamra. Dozens of youths were detained by security forces in the West Bank area.
In Arraba village in Galilee, the site of the most violent incidents last year, an estimated 8,000 people gathered for a rally. There were several speeches, including one by nazareth's communist mayor, Mr. Tawfik Zayyad. Nazareth is Israel's biggest Arab town. The rally was the major event scheduled by the leaders of Israel's half million Arabs. A memorial to the dead of 1976 was unveiled, but there were no incidents.
In Nablus, which has the largest population in the West ban, there was an almost total closedown as a result of the strike, and most people stayed at home. Security forces arrested a truck driver who was distributing a pro-PLO newspaper near the town. There was some skirmishing between local youths and troops, but the youths were dispersed after trying to set fire to tares in a main street. In Arab East Jerusalem, most shops remained shuttered and youngsters stayed home from school. Police units were reinforced, but the town was trouble-free.