TEL AVIV (Nov. 24)
Security forces continued today to round up suspected terrorists in northern Israel. The search was concentrated at Majdal Kurum, an Israeli Arab village about 10 miles east of Acre, where a large cache of arms and explosives was discovered in the house of one suspect. Israeli police battled a gang of saboteurs in the West Bank town of Jenin today, killing two of them while two others escaped. Two policemen were wounded in the skirmish with small arms and hand grenades. A curfew has been imposed on the town and a search was under way for the escapees.
Police were led to Majdal Kurum after two terrorists who died in an explosion outside of Acre yesterday were identified as residents of that village. The two were killed when they stopped their car abruptly for a red light, detonating the explosives they were carrying. Police said they were the same men who planted explosives at an apartment house in Haifa yesterday. An alert schoolboy spotted the device and called police who dismantled the bomb minutes before it was set to go off.
Police arrested seven suspects in Majdal Kurum today. All were described as economically well-off Arabs who worked in Haifa or in Nahariya. One is a stone carver who makes gravestones for a Jewish cemetery near the village. Police tore up the floor of his home and discovered an array of firearms, high explosives, detonators and electric timing devices.
The terrorist ring at Majdal Kurum was believed to have been linked to another terrorist cell in Acre. Six local Arabs arrested there last week have confessed to the series of apartment house bombings in Haifa a month ago which killed two and injured 16. They had been receiving explosives by boat from Syria. One of the boats was intercepted by the Israel Navy a week ago, leading to the arrests.
Acre was quiet today after a night in which police battled angered Jewish youths attempting to invade the Arab quarter of the town. In several parts of town Arabs were set upon and beaten by Jews. Arabs were reportedly arming themselves with stones and knives against an attack on their quarter. Four civilians and three policemen were injured in a stone-throwing melee near the gates to the quarter. A few Jewish youths were arrested for beating up Arabs. In one instance, a policeman trying to arrest a Jewish youth was assaulted by a Jewish mob. The town was reported to be functioning normally today with most shops open outside of the Arab quarter. Acre, across the bay from Haifa, has a population of about 32,000 of which more than 8,000 are Arabs.