TEL AVIV (Nov. 8)
Two Israeli Arabs and a third from the occupied territories were brought before a magistrate here today in connection with Friday’s fatal bomb explosions in the city’s central bus terminal. The three suspects were weeded out from among 1120 Arabs detained for questioning in mass round-ups that began within minutes after two small bombs concealed in trash cans exploded. One of the bombs claimed the life of Yehezkel Hamra, a 26-year-old accounting student who emigrated to Israel from Iraq in 1951. Thirty-four other persons were injured, three of them seriously, but all were off the danger list today. The bombs, consisting of 250 grams each of dynamite, were timed to explode at mid-day when crowds in the bus terminal were at a peak.
Police Minister Shlomo Hillel said the terrorists responsible for the act must have known that there were many Arabs as well as Jews in the bus terminal at the time and that the outrage would lead to attacks on innocent Arabs by certain “hot-headed people.” Police in fact had to intervene against mobs who began attacking Arabs or anyone who looked like an Arab in the terminal area after the blasts. Police claimed that they had clues that would lead them to the perpetrators. They said the crime was intended as a sheer act of terror not only against Israelis but against the 30,000 Arabs who come to Israel for employment each day from the occupied territories. Hundreds of Arabs were arrested for questioning and released Friday and Saturday. About 200 were still in jail today but suspicion centered on the three who were brought before the magistrate for further detention orders.