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Eshkol, Cabinet Ministers Discuss Security Problem Caused by Terrorist Bombings

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Prime Minister Levi Eshkol met with several of his Cabinet ministers today to discuss the internal security problem in the aftermath of yesterday’s terrorist bombings in and near the central bus station in Tel Aviv which claimed one life and injured 51 persons. Mr. Eshkol, Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan and Minister of Police Eliahu Sasson also reviewed means to prevent mob violence of the kind that erupted after the Tel Aviv bombings yesterday and a similar incident in Jerusalem two weeks ago.

No details of the high level consultations were made public. But it was obvious that the Government took the gravest view of the indiscriminate terrorist attacks in busy civilian centers and would take whatever steps were necessary to prevent their recurrence. Also regarded with the utmost gravity was the mob response to terrorist violence which in yesterday’s incident could have reached riot proportions if not restrained by the police. Minister of Information Israel Galili said this morning that public lectures would begin shortly to explain that such excesses play into the hands of terrorists who are trying to break the fragile but peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel and Israel-occupied territories.

According to a radio broadcast from Beirut today, the so-called “Front for the Liberation of Palestine” claimed responsibility for the bombings in retaliation to Israeli attacks on Arab civilians in Jerusalem Aug. 18. The same group had claimed credit for hijacking an El Al airliner over Italy last July 23.

Israeli authorities have taken the view that ultimate responsibility for terrorist acts rests with the Arab governments, not self-styled liberation organizations, Israeli representatives abroad, it was learned, have been instructed to inform foreign governments that Israel regards terrorist attacks within its territory as no less an infringement of the cease-fire agreements than shooting across the borders. The Israelis argue that armed gangs can cross the border only with the consent of their host country. Under the cease-fire agreements, each country is responsible for its side of the line.

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