LONDON (Jan. 21)
The Lebanese Interior Minister condemned the bombing of a Jewish school building in Beirut and assured leaders of Lebanon’s Jewish community yesterday that the Government would protect its Jewish citizens. Kamal Jumblatt called on Chief Rabbi Shahoul Shelim and members of the Jewish Community Council. After inspecting the damaged school he described the bomb explosion early Monday morning as an “ugly act that we all condemn” and said the authorities were continuing their investigations.
Mr. Jumblatt told the Chief Rabbi that he considered it his “duty to express my dismay over the attack on the Jewish school and show that we differentiate between a Jew and a Zionist.” Police said the bombing, which caused no casualties, was the work of “hired agents” who wanted to defame Lebanon abroad and “to create an atmosphere of provocation from which the enemy,” meaning Israel, “could benefit so he may feed his propaganda against Lebanon.”
The bombing was also denounced by El Fatah, the Palestinian guerrilla organization which issued a statement yesterday claiming that the Palestinian revolution was fighting against racial discrimination. It praised Jews who have refused to emigrate to Israel and said “We stretch out our hand for their protection.” Joseph Atiyah, head of the Jewish Community Council which represents most of Lebanon’s 3000 Jews, praised the Government’s response to the explosion. He said Jews in Lebanon had always been treated well.