JERUSALEM, DEC. 25 -- Israeli officials today lashed out at foreign press coverage of the two-week wave of violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, contending that "deliberately distorted and one-sided" reporting, especially on television, had helped fuel the disturbances and damaged Israel's image abroad.

Despite scattered incidents of rock-throwing, quiet generally prevailed for the third straight day in the territories, and military officials confirmed that they had arrested more than 1,000 Palestinians, alleged instigators and participants in the disturbances, in which at least 21 Palestinians have been killed and 150 wounded.

The Jerusalem-based Palestine Press Service disputed Israeli figures, saying that about 2,500 have been detained.

Some of those arrested have already been tried, convicted and sentenced to prison terms ranging from three months to two years, and hundreds of others face trials next week, Israeli officials said.

In a related incident, the military commander of the West Bank, Maj. Gen. Amram Mitzna, ordered the detention for several hours of a reporter for Army Radio because of his displeasure with the reporter's extensive coverage of the Army's crackdown in the territory.

Official criticism of the press has mounted in recent days, but it peaked today with remarks made by one of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's senior aides, media adviser Avi Pazner, who accused foreign correspondents of "blatant bias" and said his comments reflected Shamir's views.

A senior Foreign Ministry official also agreed with Pazner's statement.

Their comments reflected the fact that Israel's tough tactics in putting down Palestinian riots have led to the most intense international criticism of this country since its invasion of Lebanon in 1982. As with that conflict, media coverage, especially on television, has been a key factor in stimulating world reaction.

In an interview, Pazner singled out television reporting for special condemnation, saying its coverage had concentrated on scenes of Israeli soldiers shooting or beating Palestinians and had virtually ignored attacks and acts of provocation by rioters that led to such scenes.

"These are not demonstrators, they are rioters," said Pazner. "I have yet to see one scene of Palestinians throwing molotov cocktails and rocks that endanger the lives of our soldiers."

The Shamir aide contended that the coverage had helped stimulate the disturbances because cameras at the scene had incited Palestinian mobs to attack soldiers and because the footage shown in the United States and Europe had contributed to international condemnation of Israeli tactics.

"The overall impression in the United States is that one side is a Goliath, which is Israel, and the David is the Palestinians, and I think it is an absolute misrepresentation of what happened here," he said.

Israeli officials, who closely monitor foreign press coverage, were particularly incensed by an ABC Nightline program Wednesday that compared Israel's actions with those of South Africa.

Pazner called the analogy "absolutely scandalous," and he pointed out that South Africa had banned press coverage of disturbances there while Israel had no such policy.

Pazner said the Israeli government would not attempt to restrict foreign coverage despite some public pressure to do so.

"Just try to get a picture out of South Africa," he said.

"Here we go to great lengths to protect freedom of the press. We are a democratic society and proud to be one, and we operate with complete openness and freedom," he said.

Edward Grossman, president of NBC News, who is visiting Israel this week, rejected Pazner's attack, saying, "He's talking through his hat as usual because he seems to make a practice of blaming the messenger for Israel's problems. We didn't cause the riots -- the rioters were in places the cameras weren't, as well as places where they were."

Grossman, who came here for a conference on press freedom, said he traveled widely in Gaza and the West Bank with NBC camera crews this week and was satisfied that the network's coverage had been balanced and accurate.

"I would suggest that Mr. Pazner get out of his office in Jerusalem and go around and see for himself," said Grossman. "I didn't notice him in any of the places I went."

Bob Simon, the CBS correspondent here, said he had taken pains in each of his reports to include with footage of the violence interviews with Israeli officials and experts.

"We know the pictures are powerful and upsetting, and we made sure that in every piece we did we included some sort of background," said Simon. "We had lots of material from {Defense Minister Yitzhak} Rabin this past week, we chased Shamir all over the place and we followed {Foreign Minister Shimon} Peres all day in the rain."

Simon said that despite Israeli claims of openness, coverage of the rioting had been difficult because the Army sought to restrict access to television cameras whenever trouble broke out.

"From the very beginning we've been sneaking shots," he said. "Either they tell us to get out or they put their hand over the camera."

Despite such incidents, the Army generally has not made areas of disturbances off-limits to newspaper reporters, nor has it invoked its censorship powers over articles and broadcast reports. But in a speech yesterday, the Army spokesman, Brig. Gen Ephraim Lapid, criticized foreign press coverage as often "simplistic and distorted." Israeli President Chaim Herzog said, "I am advised by my friends in the media that many of the recent incidents . . . began only when the cameras were in place."

NBC president Grossman said Israel had long benefited from media coverage that portrayed this country as a beleaguered underdog. "Now that the role of underdog has switched, the Israelis have to be prepared for much more critical coverage," he said.

"When people see soldiers with guns against kids with stones, that has to have an effect," he added.

Government officials also have reacted angrily to some coverage by the Israeli press.

The Al Hamishmar newspaper, connected with the leftist Mapam Party, said its chief military correspondent, Avi Benayahu, was boycotted by the Army spokesman's office for writing stories pointing out discrepancies between official death figures and those provided by soldiers and other military sources.

An Army spokesman said Benayahu persisted in publishing inaccurate figures despite being given full information and said he would be denied "special requests," but insisted there was no boycott.

West Bank military commander Mitzna reportedly ordered the detention of Zohar Melamed of Army Radio after the commander had directed that the Army reporter be removed from the West Bank earlier in the week and then was angered when he tuned in yesterday morning to hear Melamed reporting on Christmas Eve celebrations in Bethlehem.

Mitzna had military police arrest the reporter, an Army conscript, and take him to an Army prison near Jerusalem where he was held for several hours. He was released after the intervention of Army Radio director Nachman Shai.

The Army Radio here is a freewheeling, distinctly unmilitary broadcast station that is widely listened to and known for its rock and jazz programming and aggressive news reporting.

Staff members at the station reportedly were outraged by Melamed's arrest, saying they feared it could seriously damage the station's independence.

Despite the general quiet today, the Army imposed a new curfew on the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus, the scene of disturbances during the first days of trouble two weeks ago, and continued a three-day curfew on Jabaliya, the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

About 200 women gathered outside the Ansar II detention camp, a temporary military prison located on sand dunes near the sea in Gaza City.

They were searching for sons or husbands they believe had been arrested. But the women were not allowed to enter the area and dispersed quietly after being told by the authorities to return Sunday to receive information about their relatives.

Meanwhile, the Army pulled down checkpoints and roadblocks and removed most of its troops from Bethlehem, where streets were largely empty despite the Christmas holiday.