JERUSALEM, JAN. 1 -- Israel's Army staged a massive show of force in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip today, smothering attempts by Arab activists to rekindle last month's civil disturbances on the anniversary of the first attack by Fatah, the main wing of the outlawed Palestine Liberation Organization.

There were thousands of troops -- twice as many as usual in the West Bank and three times as many in Gaza, military officials said -- and countless checkpoints. Unlike during the worst days of violence in which at least 22 Palestinians were killed last month, troops patrolled in large contingents, were equipped with riot gear and stayed away from most mosques when worshipers emerged from Friday noon services.

There was also a change in military tactics, with soldiers backing off from confrontations that might have led to shootings, and using nonlethal weapons. Officials said soldiers were under strict instructions not to open fire unless their lives were in danger, rules that have applied throughout the disturbances but that officials now concede were not always obeyed.

Palestinians engaged in scattered demonstrations for the second straight day, breaking the week-long lull in the violent protests against Israel's military occupation. The day's most violent incident was in Clock Square next to the central market in the West Bank city of Nablus, where dozens of demonstrators pelted troops with stones and bottles.

The soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets but did not use live ammunition. At the height of the violence two weeks ago, one military official suggested, a similar confrontation might have resulted in shootings.

The Army slapped a brief curfew on the city and later imposed a full curfew on the nearby Balata refugee camp after stone-throwers clashed with soldiers there. After a similar incident at the Amari camp near Ramallah, the Army imposed a curfew there as well.

In Gaza City, witnesses said, trouble started when worshipers leaving the main mosque shouted Palestinian slogans and threw stones at an Israeli Army vehicle. Soldiers rushed to the area but both sides backed off.

Shops were closed in many cities, although some residents said this was because Friday is the Moslem Sabbath rather than because of the commercial strike called by activists. The roads were largely deserted of cars, and many of those who ventured out were subjected to long searches by Israeli troops.

Police and soldiers were also on alert in the Galilee region of northern Israel, scene of scattered violence 12 days ago by Israeli Arabs expressing solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied areas. No incidents were reported there.

Military spokesmen cited several reasons for the relative calm, including the large troop presence and the fact that about 1,000 participants in the last wave of violence were behind bars following last week's security crackdown.

But the Army used the carrot as well as the stick to encourage Arab residents to remain tranquil. Maj. Gen. Amram Mitzna, the West Bank's military commander, appeared on Israel Radio's Arabic service to praise residents for behaving peacefully and pledged, "If the area continues to function as it has been, and events won't make us change our minds, we intend to begin releasing detainees." He gave no numbers or timetable.

Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, the Gaza Strip commander, made similar promises in meetings with area leaders, residents there said.

{Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, addressing the Israel-American Chamber of Commerce in Tel Aviv, said a limited number of Palestinians involved in anti-Israel riots would be deported, despite American protests, Reuter reported.

{"We have become accustomed over the years not to listen to pressures, to interference, to protests against one settlement or another, against one Israeli action or another," Shamir said.

{"It is impossible from a distance to tell someone in his land how to defend himself against anarchy, riots and attacks against the state, its citizens, its peace and security," he added.}

Besides using more sophisticated tactics in dealing with the local population, the Army also attempted to limit news coverage of outbreaks that occurred. When four television camera crews arrived at Clock Square to film the violence there, they were turned away by soldiers who said the cameras would only incite further trouble.

Journalists were kept out of the Jabaliya and Nusseirat refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and prevented from traveling to the southern half of the strip, although local residents were allowed to pass.

In the early days of the violence, which began Dec. 9 in Gaza and continued through Dec. 22, Army leaders resisted calls from the United States and other critics not to open fire on rioters and to use only nonlethal riot-control equipment.

But while Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Shomron said he opposes the formation of a special riot-control squad, he said the military would soon initiate riot-training programs for its troops and make large-scale purchases of riot-control gear.

Some of that gear was visible today. Some soldiers wore visored helmets and shields and carried clubs, tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. Water cannon were held in reserve at military headquarters in Nablus, and armored cars were used to patrol the narrow streets of Jerusalem's Old City.

Today marked the 23rd anniversary of the first military-style action of Fatah, the PLO's main wing, when Fatah guerrillas unsuccessfully attempted to plant a bomb in the water works of the Israeli town of Bet Shean. Fatah is a reverse acronym in Arabic for the name Palestine Liberation Movement. It officially joined with the PLO in the late 1960s.

A new radio station that has broadcast into Israel for two weeks identified itself today as "Al Quds, the Palestinian Arab radio station for the liberation of land and man." Mickey Gurdos, who monitors radio broadcasts for Israel Radio, said the station's signal is the strongest ever used by Palestinian activists.

He said he believed that the station, which can be heard throughout the occupied territories and Israel, may be based in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon.

The station has been broadcasting Palestinian nationalistic music for several hours daily.

It has identified itself in a variety of languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Italian.