TEL AVIV (Jan. 5)
Six persons were injured today by terrorist bomb explosions in Natanya and Kfar Saba. All were hospitalized. Three were released from the hospital after treatment and the condition of the others was described as satisfactory. The new eruption of terrorist activity against civilians coincided with a flood of booby-trapped mall that has been arriving in Israel from abroad during the past three days.
An Israeli bomb disposal expert was seriously injured yesterday when a parcel exploded. Transport Minister Shimon Peres said today, however, that their will be no curtailment of mail service and has advised airlines that there are no restrictions on the transportation of mail to Israel.
Police are investigating the Natanya and Kfar Saba explosions. A large number of Arabs have been questioned and some were reportedly still under detention. Both towns are frequented by Arabs from the nearby West Bank towns of Tulkarem and Qalqilya. Four persons were injured in Kfar Saba this morning when a device consisting of two hand grenades and an electric detonator exploded in a trash can near the bus station on the main street of the town. About an hour earlier, a grenade exploded under a peddler’s cart in Natanya injuring the 71-year-old peddler and a woman by stander. Three shop windows were shattered by the blast.
A parcel containing explosives was discovered today in Natanya, addressed to a local insurance company. It bore a Yugoslavian postmark. Police disclosed that bomb parcels have been addressed to a number of public figures, police officials, scientists businessmen and directors of national institutions. Among the addressees was Gen. Ezer Weizman, former Air Force commander and chairman of the Herut party, chief inspector Ben Porat of Police Headquarters and Prof. Ernst Bergmann, a senior scientist.
CALCULATED TO STIR PANIC
Parcels have turned up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Eilat. Two were found today addressed to the director of the Israel Land Development Co. in Jerusalem and the director of the Coins and Medals Co. Another came to a watch-maker in Beersheba, loading authorities to believe that many of the booby-traps are addressed at random and are calculated to stir panic among the population.
Police believe the bomb parcels are the work of the Arab terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command headed by Ahmed Jabril. The Jabril group split from the PFLP which is headed by Dr. George Habash, the group that was held responsible for a mid-air explosion that destroyed an Israel-bound Swiss air jet in 1970. Among the members of the Jabril group are reportedly former Syrian Army officers who are explosives experts.
Most of the parcels have come from Vienna but several of the most recent once were mailed in Yugoslavia, a country which has no diplomatic ties with Israel and is known to harbor Arab terrorists. The public has been alerted to be wary of any suspicious-looking or unexpected parcels. Police have introduced elaborate measures to detect the booby-traps. These include a recent invention by an Israeli scientist that “smells out” explosives, and X-ray machines.
The only victim of the devices so far has been police inspector Nissim Sasson, 51, who was seriously injured yesterday while trying to dismantle a parcel filled with explosives. His condition after surgery was described as serious but he was reported to be out of danger.