The killing of eight Arabs by a deranged Israeli gunman Sunday has energized the 29-month Palestinian uprising and stepped up international appeals for a resolution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the aftermath of Sunday's incident, Palestinian leaders in the occupied territories, now on an open-ended hunger strike, have demanded an international investigation and the substitution of UN forces for Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, a chorus of international critics said Sunday's attack indirectly resulted from the atmosphere of tension produced by the unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict.
Israeli leaders condemned the attack, which occurred Sunday morning near the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Lezion. The gunman, a 21-year-old former soldier, was taken for psychiatric care yesterday before being formally arraigned in a magistrate's court.
The entire Israeli-Arab sector took part in a general strike yesterday to protest the incident. It was the first time since the start of the uprising that Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories have coordinated strike actions.
News of Sunday's killings produced an explosion of violence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. By day's end seven Arabs had been killed by Army gunfire and at least 650 were wounded in the some of the most serious rioting since the start of the uprising. Twelve Israeli soldiers were wounded in the clashes.
In downtown Amman, Jordan, a bus carrying about 32 tourists came under attack yesterday by an apparently lone gunman shouting ``Gaza martyrs.'' Nine people were reportedly wounded.
The entire Gaza Strip plus all major population centers in the West Bank remained under curfew yesterday to prevent new outbreaks of violence.
Analysts cited the surge of violence as proof that the causes of Palestinian unrest - poor economic conditions and hatred of the Israeli occupation - have not been alleviated since the start of the uprising and could pose continuing security problems for Israel.