The Israeli army staged a massive raid on a West Bank village on Friday while Islamic leaders of the Palestinian uprising tried to enforce a general strike in the occupied territories.
Security sources said about 300 troops led by a bulldozer struck at Kafr Malek before dawn, searching houses and arresting at least 12 residents suspected of involvement in the revolt against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.Troops clamped a curfew on the village, near Ramallah, and declared the area a closed military zone during the operation, the sources said.
Earlier this week the army arrested more than 200 Palestinians during a raid on Kalkilya town.
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said the raids were part of a continuing attempt to take the offensive against organizers and participants in the uprising, which entered its 10th month on Friday.
"The intention is to move all the time towards taking the initiative more, using increased intelligence forces to know in each settlement who is more active (against Israel)," he told army radio.
Underground Islamic leaders of the uprising, called Hamas, scored some success in enforcing a strike independently of the revolt's mainstream "unified command."
Bearded militant Moslems entered stores that were open on the outskirts of Arab East Jerusalem, ordering shopkeepers to close.
Many complied, although some had to be visited twice and many shops in Jerusalem had their doors half-open -- available to customers, though ready to close immediately.