HAIFA (Oct. 23)
A 50-year-old mother of three was killed early this morning when a terrorist-set time bomb exploded in an apartment house. It was the fifth apartment house bombing in Haifa in less than 24 hours. Yesterday’s blasts killed one man and injured 16 persons.
The latest victim was identified as Mrs. Rachel Lev. Her husband was seriously injured. The explosives detonated directly beneath the Lev flat wrecking it and an adjacent flat. The blast occurred at 2:20 a.m. local time.
Police alerted all Haifa residents last night and again this morning to inspect their premises carefully and regularly for explosives. They believe all five blasts were the work of a terrorist gang who planted the explosives at about the same time but set the detonating devices for different hours. In each case, the explosives were planted on the ground or under the buildings and did most of the damage to the first floor. Many Haifa buildings are partially supported by concrete pilings because of the hilly terrain.
Police indicated today that they suspect Israeli Arabs working in collaboration with terrorists from the West Bank of the bombings. Ninety persons, mostly Arabs, were detained for questioning yesterday and 20 of them were held today for further interrogation. The detainees included a number of Arabs from Nazareth. Special police units were assigned to protect Haifa’s Arab quarter against possible retaliation attempts by Israeli youths.
Premier Golda Meir denounced the Haifa bombings as cowardly. Speaking at an election rally in Hadera, south of Haifa, Mrs. Meir vowed that those responsible would be caught and punished.
Haifa’s Mayor Moshe Fleeman announced formation of a civil defense corps to check every building in the city of 209,000. The city’s schools were thoroughly inspected before students were allowed in.