Palestinians started a three-day general strike Saturday in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, which the army kept closed to outsiders after violence left two Arabs dead.
Soldiers shot and wounded at least 10 Arabs who hurled rocks at Israeli patrols and blocked roads with burning tires in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Nablus and the occupied Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said.But a Gaza reporter said six were wounded in the strip, where the army clamped a curfew on most of Rafah town to restore order after school boys left classes to demonstrate in the open-air market. Among the wounded was a 60-year-old woman shot in the abdomen, the reporter said.
In other developments, Israeli radio said a reserve army captain would be reprimanded by his commander for tying a handcuffed Arab protester to the bumper of a patrol car in the Gaza Strip. The incident occurred days after the anti-Israeli uprising erupted Dec. 8 and was widely publicized.
A military police investigation into the captain's behavior concluded the officer did not mean to humiliate the youth and only tied him to the jeep because there were no spare seats inside the car, the radio said.
News reports at the time indicated the boy was being used as a live shield, to deter others from throwing rocks.
In Jerusalem, a city spokeswoman said Arab school children from grades 5-12 would return to classes this week.
Grades 1-4 have already started school, but the beginning of the academic year was delayed for the higher grades because police suspected activists were using classrooms as gathering points for violent protests.
Schools and universities in the occupied West Bank will remain closed till at least mid-November.
Arabs in Hebron called the strike and closed city hall to protest the shooting death of Kayed Hassan Salah, a shopkeeper killed Friday when Jewish settlers and soldiers chased Arabs who stoned an Israeli car. It is still not clear how Salah died.
A second Arab, 18-year-old Said Hafez Karaki, died of bullet wounds Friday when soldiers opened fire on a group of masked youths who threw rocks on their patrol, hospital officials said.
Large numbers of soldiers patrolled desolate city streets by foot and armored vehicle Saturday to maintain a curfew that restricted Arabs to their homes in the morning but was lifted later in the day, the army said.
The army closed the city to reporters Friday and kept it off-limits to outside visitors after lifting the curfew.
An Arab reporter, who lives in Hebron, said Jewish settlers took to the streets of the old city Saturday morning to sing and dance, possibly in celebration of the weeklong Feast of Tabernacles. The holiday, which ends Monday, commemorates the biblical exodus of the Jews from Egypt.