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First Terrorist Attack on Israeli Civilian Traffic Reported from Galilee

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A 42-year-old member of Kibbutz Maagan in Galilee was seriously wounded last night when El Fatah marauders from Jordan ambushed a private car in which he and four other members of the settlement were riding. The victim, Amnon ben Soussan, was hit in the chest and back by bullets and a fragment lodged in his lung. He underwent surgery during the night.

The incident, the first in which Arab gangs struck at a private car on a main highway, occurred shortly before midnight on the road between Beisan and Sammakh on the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The kibbutz members were driving home after a visit to a neighboring kibbutz, Messilot. As their car approached a bend in the road near Kibbutz Hammadiyed, about a mile west of the Jordan River, it was hit by automatic fire at pointblank range. The driver increased the speed and a grenade tossed by the raiders missed the car.

An investigation revealed that about eight gang members had crossed from the east bank of the Jordan and set up an ambush on the east side of the road. Russian-made Klatchnikov cartridges were found nearby. Security authorities believe the incident may mark the beginning of terrorist attacks on civilian cars. Most previous attacks have been on military vehicles which return the fire.

The commander of an El Fatah sabotage gang, arrest by Israeli security forces, revealed under questioning today that his mother is a Jewess married to a Christian Arab with whom she lives in Amman. According to Jewish law, this makes William Naguib Nasser a Jew although he claimed to have been converted to Christianity. Unconfirmed reports said that a second El Fatah leader, Kamal Nimri, who was captured with Nasser, also had a Jewish mother.

The interrogation of Nasser and Nimri led to the smashing Monday of the El Fatah gang believed responsible for Saturday’s sabotage raid on the Mekorot water company’s heavy equipment storage depot near Jerusalem where a Druze watchman was murdered. Naguib Nasser, a sabotage expert, is the man who strangled the watchman to death, security authorities said.

He disclosed under questioning that he was originally recruited by El Fatah in Germany where he spent a long time and that he subsequently trained other El Fatah recruits on German soil before they were sent to the Middle East. He himself received his training in Algeria and was later transferred to El Fatah headquarters in Damascus. Asked how, as the son of a Jewish mother, he could commit acts of violence against Jews. Naguib Nasser replied, “she was never a Zionist.”

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