TEL AVIV (Sep. 17)
Four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who were convicted yesterday by a Gaza tribunal on charges of attacking Israel patrols and of causing the death of at least three soldiers, are subject to capital punishment, officials said here today. A verdict is expected later, they said. Under the Israeli army code, only a panel of three, two of whom must be jurists, may hand down a capital punishment verdict. That was the composition of the Gaza tribunal. In four prior cases in which capital punishment verdicts were returned, all of the sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. A fifth Popular Front member was acquitted of killing but found guilty on charges of sabotage for which he is likely to get a ten-year sentence, officials said. A military tribunal in Jenin sentenced another group of Popular Front members yesterday to long terms. Mahmoud Ab-dallah, 30, a graduate of Beirut University, was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. Two subordinates received 20-year terms. A 17-year-old defendant was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
Two Israeli civilians, Itzhak Graieff and David Cohen, were killed and a third Israeli injured when their tractor hit a mine on a main road southwest of Raffah in the northern Sinai. Security officials opened an investigation. A curfew was imposed today on Raffah and on three nearby refugee camps in connection with the probe. Seven Arabs are being held for questioning in connection with the bombings in Nathanya last Monday night. Four of the suspects, from the Samaria district, work in Nathanya. The other three are residents of Arab villages in Israel.