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Palestinians Burn Tires and Close Stores to Protest Israeli Policies

January 03, 1988|From Times Wire Services

TEL AVIV — Palestinians burned tires, set up roadblocks and closed stores in East Jerusalem and Ramallah on Saturday to protest the deployment of thousands of Israeli troops and mass arrests in occupied Arab areas.

Palestinian sources said troops shot and wounded an Arab demonstrator who threw stones in Nablus, but the army denied this and said the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip remained calm.

"Everything is completely quiet. There were no shootings or irregular incidents," an army spokeswoman said.

Witnesses said troops arrested a few Palestinians in the West Bank town of Ramallah and welded shut the stores of Palestinians who refused to open for business.

In East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel after its capture in the 1967 Middle East War, shopkeepers went on strike, but no incidents were reported.

Palestinian sources said the army fired tear gas and shots in the air to disperse stone-throwing protesters who shattered the windshield of an army vehicle in the West Bank town of Ram. The army denied the report.

In occupied Gaza, troops in riot gear were out in force, but shops were open and there were no reports of protests. A curfew clamped on the Jabaliya refugee camp on Friday remained in force.

A military crackdown has quashed Palestinian dissent in the occupied territories since the army killed 22 demonstrators, wounded more than 160 and arrested about 1,100 last month.

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