Israeli Army troops shot and wounded a 15-year-old Arab high school student during an anti-Israeli demonstration today, as disturbances erupted across the occupied West Bank for the 12th consecutive day.
Demonstrations and school strikes, some to protest Egypt and Israel's Palestinian autonomy negotiations, were reported in six West Bank towns. Students stoned Israeli vehicles in several towns, and in Dura, near Hebron, a gasoline firebomb was reported thrown at an Israeli Army jeep.
Palestinian sources said that Mohammed Abdel Jarrar, 15, was wounded when Israeli troops fired at Arab demonstrators who were carrying a Palestinian flag and shouting pro-Palestine Liberation Organization slogans in Jenin, the West Bank's northernmost town. The Palestinians said the Israeli troops also beat several girl students with riot sticks and arrested a reporter for a Arabic-language Jerusalem newspaper.
An Israeli Army spokesman had a different version, saying that Jarrar was with a group of boys who broke into the Jenin girls' school and incited students to demonstrate outside. The youths allegedly stoned an Army jeep, injuring one officer.
When troops entered the school, Jarrar, who allegedly was holding a knife, ran away and refused to respond to warning shots fired in the air, the Army spokesman said. The soldiers fired at his legs, wounding him, he said.
Bir Zeit University, the West Bank's largest, remained closed, and the military governor told its acting president, Gabi Baramki, that the university would not reopen until Jan. 4. Bethlehem University remained closed by a student strike and surrounded by Israeli troops, who declared it a military area. Israeli authorities prevented Bethlehem civic leaders from convening a "national conference" at the municipal hall.
Demonstrations and rock-throwing were reported in Nablus, Qalqilia, the Dheisheh refugee camp, Ramallah and Dura in the most prolonged West Bank disturbances in more than a year.