Israelis go on rampage


JERUSALEM -- Israelis protesting the visit of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat took out their anger on the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem late last night, when more than a thousand rampaged to the fringes of the community, smashing shop windows of Arab businesses, overturning one car and setting another aflame.

The mob also attempted to enter the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's walled Old City, but were turned back by Israeli police, who shut the huge door of the historic Damascus Gate as a precaution. Some gangs of youths entered through other gates and were running through the Arab neighborhoods.

Police made several arrests but did not use either tear gas or gunfire. They commonly use both weapons when breaking up smaller disturbances by stone-throwing Arab boys in East Jerusalem.

The disturbance, beginning at midnight and lasting about two hours, grew out of a late-night protest that began a few hours after the end of the Jewish Sabbath.

More than 100,000 people attended the protest rally in the center of the city, filling a plaza and several blocks of downtown's main street, while right-wing politicians stoked their anger by railing against Mr. Arafat and the Israeli government.

Although a few dozen teen-age boys seemed responsible for most of the damage, hundreds of others joined in as the crowd strolled by Arab shops, shouting loudly.

"Jerusalem is for the Jews," some shouted.

"Death to Arafat," others yelled.

Others, according to the Associated Press, were shouting, "Slaughter the Arabs."

Hundreds more, including some families with young children in strollers, watched impassively from a nearby four-lane road that serves as a rough dividing line between Israeli West Jerusalem ++ and the mostly Arab east side.

Occasionally the crowd booed when police moved in to shove the crowd back toward the west side of town.

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