Menu JTA Search

Angry Mobs Assault Arabs when Tel Aviv Bus Depot Bombing Kills 1, Injures 51

Mobs of enraged Israelis today set upon and beat up Arabs in the streets here and in neighboring Jaffa following a series of bomb explosions in and around the crowded central bus terminal which killed one man and injured 51 other persons, two of them seriously today. Three of the bomb explosions occurred at mid-day, during the lunch hour rush, and a fourth went off an hour later. Thousands of persons in and near the terminal milled about in near panic. First aid units were rushed in to treat many persons cut by flying glass. Police cordoned off the area and tried to protect Arabs, many of whom sought shelter in police stations. A car bearing Gaza Strip license plates was destroyed.

The bombings were attributed to Arab terrorists. Fifty Arabs, some of them residents of the occupied territories, were arrested for questioning. The bombs were concealed in trash bins and in a water fountain at various places inside the bus terminal and near a movie house and in a side street adjacent to the terminal. According to initial reports, the explosives were planted by “small, innocent looking boys.” The method of planting them inconspicuously in trash cans was the same as the one used in Jerusalem two weeks ago when a series of time bombs blasted the downtown section injuring a dozen persons. That incident, attributed to Arab terrorists, also set off a wave of rioting and assaults on Arabs by infuriated mobs who stormed East Jerusalem.

Following today’s bombings, mobs made for Jaffa, once an Arab town but now part of the Tel Aviv municipality though still with its Arab quarters. Police stations opened their doors to Arabs seeking refuge and Jewish mobs milled outside calling for revenge. The fury of the mobs was such that Minister of Information Israel Galili admonished citizens who, he declared, must under no circumstances take the law into their own hands.

The man killed in the bus terminal was still unidentified. Eight of the injured remained hospitalized. The other injured persons were treated in hospitals, pharmacies or by first aid teams on the streets and then released. Ten Arabs near the scene of the explosion were injured by angry crowds and an Israeli soldier trying to protect the Arabs was also injured. About 60 Arabs were escorted from the area under police protection. Eyewitnesses said one of the bombs went off near a bus queue and suddenly scores of people were seen with blood streaming from their faces. Private cars in the vicinity picked up injured and rushed them to hospitals. Soldiers on leave helped police cordon off the terminal where bus service was suspended for several hours.

NEXT STORY