The underground committee directing the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories Friday demanded that mayors of four West Bank towns resign and called for an escalation of anti-Israel protests with "holy stones and Molotov cocktails."
The committee, which calls itself the United National Command for the Uprising, also declared the next seven days a "week of anger" and called for general strikes on three days.The West Bank and Gaza were quiet Friday with no major clashes reported between protesters and Israeli troops.
After Moslem Sabbath prayers Friday, several hundred worshipers staged a demonstration outside the Al Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the third holiest site in Islam.
The demonstrators raised outlawed Palestine Liberation Organization flags and chanted nationalist slogans as soldiers watched from nearby rooftops and a police helicopter circled overhead. Hundreds of police and soldiers were stationed outside the holy area in case of violence, but the protest ended peacefully.
In "Leaflet No. 15," the uprising committee, comprised of four PLO representatives and one Islamic fundamentalist, demanded that the Israeli-appointed mayors of Ramallah, Al Bireh, Jericho and Hebron resign because they "continued to defy the Palestinian will."
In the past the committee has called for the resignations of municipal councils and mayors, but has never singled out individual towns. No mayors or councils have stepped down.
The leaflet also called on Arab policemen in the territories to quit. In February and March several hundred Arab policemen yielded to the pressure and turned in their badges.
The group also called on the 1.5 million Palestinians in the occupied territories to escalate anti-Israel protests with "holy stones and Molotov cocktails."
In the past week, the number of violent demonstrations and Palestinian casualties has dropped. Israeli authorities have said residents are tiring after nearly five months of protests and harsh security measures imposed by the army.
The committee praised the 14 Arab merchants in East Jerusalem who have been charged with defying army orders that set their store hours in an effort to break a 4-month-old commercial strike.
The group also called for general strikes May 9 and 10 to mark the five-month anniversary of the anti-Israel uprising that began Dec. 9.
At least 168 Palestinians have died and thousands have been wounded in the unrest. An Israeli soldier was killed by an unknown gunmen in Bethlehem and a Jewish teenager was fatally shot by an adult escort during a clash between hikers and Arab villagers.