JERUSALEM (Aug. 22)
Israel’s military commander in the Jerusalem area announced in an official communique today that a three-ton mine buried in “noman’s land” near the Musrara quarter will be exploded tomorrow at 4 P.M., local time. For 15 minutes prior to the detonation, warning sirens will be sounded and inhabitants of adjacent areas will be asked to take precautionary measures, such as evacuating their homes or moving down to ground floors.
Traffic in the vicinity will be halted until the all-clear sounds, after which sappers will be placed in the explosion area and normal life will be allowed to resume. The three-ton mine was hidden during the fighting in Jerusalem last year by Jewish troops who left it undetonated after the cease-fire went into effect.
For the past few months United Nations officials in Jerusalem have insisted that the Israeli authorities order the detonation of the mine. U.N. personnel have, meanwhile, taken a number of precautionary measures, including the digging of tunnels and ditches in the area, to absorb the shock of the blast and diminish possible damage to the neighborhood.
The British have protested the operation on the grounds that the explosives are buried near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the blast may damage the church. Transjordan, in a note to U.N. headquarters here, charged the Israelis with planting explosives in the city’s sewerage system after the U.N. cease-fire went into effect.