Palestinians celebrated the second anniversary of their declaration of independence with fireworks and parades Thursday, spurning Israeli efforts to squelch festivities.
Most clashes between police and demonstrators were minor. A 4-year-old Palestinian boy was killed when struck in the head by a stone, apparently thrown by Arabs, the army and Arab reports said.The army reinforced patrols and imposed curfews on all of the occupied Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank, confining more than 1 million Palestinians to their homes. The areas were closed to journalists.
Israeli troops were drawn into cat-and-mouse chases with Palestinian youths who held military-style parades, unfurled outlawed Palestinian flags and distributed sweets to children in a traditional gesture.
After darkness fell, the bangs of firecrackers were heard in Jerusalem and dozens of villages and refugee camps. Palestinians lighted torches and released balloons from their roofs.
A half-dozen minor skirmishes were reported in Jerusalem between Palestinians and police. Several ended in showers of police tear gas and rubber bullets.
Jerusalem police spokesman Aharon Elhayani said three Palestinians were caught with bullhorns in the city and arrested for incitement.
The underground leadership of the 35-month-old Palestinian uprising had called for three days of celebrations starting Thursday. They are to mark the independence declaration issued on Nov. 15, 1988, in Algiers, Algeria, by the Palestine Liberation Organization's parliament-in-exile.