Violent clashes stemming from the Easter shooting at the Dome of the Rock Mosque by an Israeli soldier continued to flare across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip today, resulting in scores of injuries on both sides.
Israeli security forces increased their presence in major Arab towns in an effort to contain the disturbances, but a growing number of rock-throwing youths--out of school because of a week-long general strike--took to the streets to confront Army troops.
The most serious incident occurred in the village of Sair near the West Bank town of Hebron, when Israeli troops opened fire after a patrol was attacked by rock-throwing Palestinians. An Army Command spokesman said one youth was wounded, and Palestinian sources said seven were shot.
In the Kalandia refugee camp, in East Jerusalem, security forces fired into a crowd of rock-throwing protesters, wounding two in the legs, according to the Army Command. Arab sources said others were believed to have been hit by the gunfire.
The often wide disparity between casualty figures offered by Israeli and Palestinian sources apparently is a result, in part, of the reluctance of some Arab youths suffering from light gunshot wounds to seek hospital treatment, in the belief that once they register in a hospital they will be interrogated by Israeli authorities.
An Israeli military source acknowledged that the daily casualty totals confirmed by the Army Command may be incomplete because it does not include victims who seek treatment at private medical clinics and physicians' offices.
At the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip, where more than 30 persons were reported to be recovering from wounds received in a clash yesterday at a small Army base near the Jabaliya refugee camp, Palestinian sources said Israeli security forces and relatives of patients clashed four times today when investigators forced their way inside to question patients.
Physicians attempted to organize a protest march, and one, Dr. Zuhar Mord, was reported to have been arrested, along with several patients who were wounded in yesterday's clash, according to Palestinian sources.
Hospital employes charged that Israeli troops fired tear gas to disperse crowds around the hospital, and that soldiers chased protesters through the corridors to arrest them. The hospital grounds were reported to have been sealed off by security forces.
An Army Command spokesman said he was aware of an incident at the hospital but had no information about it.
There were smaller skirmishes, rock-throwing incidents and demonstrations in at least a dozen locations throughout the West Bank and Gaza, as well as numerous cases of reported stonings of Israeli military and civilian vehicles.
Twelve Israelis were reported injured by rocks, six when a car was stoned in Gaza, two in Qalqilyah on the West Bank and four in the Azariya quarter of East Jerusalem. Police said two Arabs were arrested when they were caught smashing Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives. Arab sources said that, apparently for the first time, Israeli security forces used a helicopter to disperse protesters at the Kalandia refugee camp, dropping tear-gas canisters into the crowd. The Army Command spokesman said he could not confirm the report, but said a helicopter could have been used for observation or evacuating wounded.
Several hundred protesters were reported to have confronted soldiers in Nablus in the West Bank, where two youths were said to have been wounded by gunfire. Palestinians said a 12-year-old boy was shot in the leg in a rock-throwing confrontation in Jabaliya, in the Gaza Strip.