March 27, 1997 in Nation/World

Weeklong Rioting Spreads In Palestine

Compiled From Wire Services
 

Palestinians and Israelis traded rocks and rubber bullets for the seventh day in the West Bank Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu awaited the arrival of Washington’s Middle East mediator and pondered whether to bring the opposition Labor party into his government.

The rioting, which has pitted Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers daily in Bethlehem and Hebron for the past week, spread to the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday, where several hundred Palestinian students spent several hours raining stones on Israeli troops and being pelted with tear gas and rubber bullets in exchange. About two dozen Palestinians were treated for various injuries.

In Bethlehem, protesters burned U.S. and Israeli flags but were restrained from rock-throwing by Palestinian police. Ramallah was the place where similar disorders last September, sparked by Israel’s opening of a tunnel in Old Jerusalem, suddenly turned murderous as the two sides began swapping gunfire. The fighting spread through the West Bank and Gaza and left more than 70 dead.


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