First Sabotage Act in Reunified Jerusalem Arouses Indignation
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First Sabotage Act in Reunified Jerusalem Arouses Indignation

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There was widespread indignation throughout this city today following the bombing last night of the old Fast Hotel, now a condemned tenement house virtually abutting on the wall of the Old City. The building housed a printing shop and about 50 Jewish families who were evacuated. Three men and a woman were injured in the explosion, which was the first act of sabotage since the reunification of the city.

Nine Arabs were arrested today, and four of them were still being detained tonight for further questioning, following the explosion. The four included two Arabs who worked in the printing plant and two others who had been employed on some repair work to the building. Israeli authorities expressed the belief that the action was politically motivated, since the plant was printing new textbooks for the Arab schools as well as handbills in Arabic proclaiming various governmental regulations.

Both the Tel Aviv evening newspapers, Maariv and Yediot Achronoth, called today for stricter measures against what the latter called “the import from the west bank of all explosives, real or ideological.” Maariv said that preventive measures against Arab resistance must be taken. “even if the illusion must be shed that we have reached the Messianic days of peace and serenity between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem.”


Israel security forces, it was revealed today, have apprehended a number of west bank inhabitants who had crossed to Jordan and returned with funds to pay their salaries to former Jordanian civil servants, school teachers and others who had remained on the west bank. The Jordan Government has been interested in continuing to pay these salaries in order to hold their loyalty and command their obedience in such incidents as the school boycott.

The arrested men, it was learned, had posed as porters and freight men carrying agricultural produce to Jordan. The amount of funds confiscated from them was said to be considerable.

Military government authorities announced today that a number of members of the Arab terrorist El Fatah bands had been rounded up in the west bank area in the last few weeks and would soon be brought to trial before military courts.

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol indicated today that the Government was losing patience with Arab obstructionists. He said the perpetrators of the Hotel Fast outrage would be punished like the infiltrators caught by the army in recent weeks. Visiting west bank areas, he commented that Jordan’s main expenditures there had been for fortifications and he said that if the Arabs did not want education — a reference to the school boycotts — Israel might reconsider its policies on other services it was providing the west bank inhabitants at great cost to the Israeli taxpayers.


An inter-ministerial committee dealing with problems of relations between Israel and the occupied territories recommended today that all restrictions be lifted on trade between Israel and the west bank area except that involving agricultural products. The committee recommended allocation of $1,000,000 to strengthen and develop small industries in the west bank area and an allocation of $1,300,000 for agriculture there.

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