JERUSALEM, JAN. 9 -- Another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli soldiers today and five more were wounded during what witnesses said was the most intense wave of rioting yet to hit the occupied Gaza Strip.
The Army also cracked down on reporting of the violence, arresting two journalists and closing off large sections of Gaza to reporters during the day. One of those held, an Israeli photographer, said he was beaten by soldiers and arrested after he attempted to photograph a half dozen soldiers assaulting a young Palestinian.
The Army said the photographer, Amir Weinberg of Yediot Aharonoth, Israel's largest daily, had behaved "wildly" and had defied orders to leave the scene of a clash between soldiers and Palestinian rioters.
Islamic fundamentalists had called for a general strike to support the 1,000 or so Palestinians held in Israeli military prisons. Leaflets distributed by the Islamic Jihad underground movement called on residents to demonstrate with "our sons in the Nazi prison camps," and said the protests must continue until "victory or death." It warned that those who attempted to go to work would have their cars burned and their shops destroyed.
Witnesses said there was little traffic on roads this morning as workers and merchants stayed home. But thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Gaza City, Khan Yunis and Rafah as well as several refugee camps in the most widespread protests since the violence first broke out here Dec. 9.
The Army was out in force. Witnesses saw seven armored personnel carriers on the main Gaza highway and dozens of buses packed with troops. Curfews were declared in refugee camps in Jabaliya, Bureij, Nuseirat and Khan Yunis and each area was declared a "closed military zone" off-limits to journalists.
There were also scattered incidents of stone throwing and rioting in four West Bank communities -- Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus -- and curfews were declared in two refugee camps.
But as has been the case all week, the worst violence took place in Gaza, where waves of rioters brandishing rocks and bottles have now replaced the hundreds of hit-and-run demonstrators who fought with soldiers three weeks ago.
Today's shooting occurred when hundreds of demonstrators marched from the village of Bani Suhaila to downtown Khan Yunis where they confronted a large unit of Israeli soldiers.
The mob displayed outlawed Palestinian banners, shouted Islamic slogans and threw stones and bottles at the troops. The Army answered with tear gas and rubber bullets and when they did not work, a military spokesman said, soldiers opened fire. A 17-year-old youth was killed and another person was wounded.
He was the 27th Palestinian shot dead since the unrest began nearly five weeks ago in what is generally held to be the worst wave of civil violence since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967. More than 200 people have been wounded by gunfire.
Three more demonstrators at the Deir al Balah camp were wounded in a later clash and a fourth was hurt by rubber bullets at the town of Rafah, the spokesman said.
A loudspeaker at a mosque in the Sajaiya quarter of Gaza City called on residents to fight Israeli troops with "knives, stones and all other means."
Faced with what is now seen as a deepening crisis, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin met tonight with Gaza military commander Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Shomron and Shmuel Goren, military governor of the occupied territories. Rabin is expected to announce tough new security measures when Israel's Cabinet meets Sunday.
But a crackdown on press coverage appeared to begin today. The main Erez military checkpoint into Gaza was closed periodically during the day and a CBS camera crew and several other reporters were turned away.
Weinberg, the Israeli photographer, said he entered the area through a different checkpoint and arrived in time to photograph the Bani Suhaila demonstration. He said the Khan Yunis military commander, a Lt. Col. Yoel, approached his car and ordered him to leave the area but gave no reason.
When Weinberg continued taking pictures, the officer seized his camera and ordered him and his wife, who accompanied him, to follow the officer to military headquarters. While en route, Weinberg said he came across a half dozen soldiers slapping and kicking a young Palestinian. When Weinberg attempted to photograph the incident, he said, the lieutenant colonel began kicking and slapping him while two soldiers held him by the arms.
Weinberg and his wife were later released on $650 bail each after being charged with defying a military order and entering a closed area. Weinberg was also charged with tearing the officer's uniform. He said he would file countercharges Sunday.
The Army spokesman said Weinberg had "behaved like a wild animal," tried to escape and had assaulted the officer.
The spokesman also charged that another journalist, Yossi Molak, an Israeli cameraman working for ABC News here, incited a demonstration in a refugee camp by paying young residents to throw stones. The spokesman said Molak, who could not be reached for comment tonight, was detained briefly and his film was seized.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's media adviser, Avi Pazner, told Israel television tonight that the government was not seeking to prevent coverage in riot areas.
"There is no change in policy," he said. "We are permitting coverage as long as it doesn't interfere with the needs of the Army. Our first priority is our soldiers."
But Robert Slater, chairman of the Foreign Press Association here, complained to Pazner that coverage had grown increasingly difficult this week as soldiers ordered journalists, especially camera crews, out of virtually every area where trouble had occurred.