The 1.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip staged a general strike on Monday to protest Israel's closure of schools and universities in the occupied areas.

Hebron, the scene of clashes between Jewish settlers, troops and stone-throwing protesters last Friday, was completely shut down by the business strike.Troops did not permit residents in central Hebron to leave their homes and declared the area a closed military district.

Palestinians in Hebron began a three-day strike on Saturday to mourn the deaths of two protesters killed in Friday's clashes.

Children in the city said they were anxious to return to school. "We all want the schools to reopen, we all want to go back to school," one eight-year-old boy said.