Menu JTA Search

10 More Letter Bombs Arrive in Israel from Holland; All Intercepted Public Warned Not to Open Suspic

A police spokesman reported today that 10 more letter bombs arrived in Israel from Holland addressed, among other public figures, to Louis Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, Dr. Israel Goldstein, former world chairman of Keren Hayesod, and Social Welfare Minister Michael Hazani. More than 40 such letter bombs, all mailed from Amsterdam, have been received in Israel and in countries of Western Europe, Africa, the United States and Canada.

The Israel Foreign Ministry yesterday cautioned all Israeli representatives abroad to take precautions against the danger of such letters. A Ministry spokesman said that all Israeli ambassadors have been ordered to supervise personally security arrangements at their Embassies.

Receipt of the ten letter bombs today brought to 12 the number arriving in two days. Bomb-letters came yesterday addressed to Transport Minister Shimon Peres and Dr. Moshe Kurtz, director general of the Welfare Ministry. The police spokesman said the 12 letters were rendered harmless by disposal experts at the post office sorting station. He said all the bombs were mailed in airmail envelopes with all names and addresses in hand-writing. He added that the explosive charge forms a scarcely detectable lump in the center of the letter.

LETTER BOMBS MAILED TO AFRICA

Israel postal authorities are taking extraordinary precautions in an effort to find additional booby-trapped letters before they leave the sorting offices. Peres issued a warning to Israelis to call in security experts rather than opening suspicious letters or parcels. Officials of business firms and institutions have been advised to take suspect mail to the roofs of their buildings where, if they explode, there will be relative safety.

A summary of reports dramatized the spreading scope of the mailing of such bombs. Three envelopes addressed to Israel Embassy officials in Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire, former Belgian Congo, were detonated by explosives experts. Letter bombs addressed to Israeli diplomats have turned up also in Vienna, Geneva, Ottawa, Montreal, Brussels, Paris, London and New York. However, all but one have been intercepted and made harmless. That one killed Ami Shechori, the Agricultural Attache at the Israeli Embassy in London last Tuesday, and wounded Theodor Kaddar who was to have succeeded Shechori.

Postal officials said the mailings were acts of intended cold-blooded murder because they can kill anyone who handles them. The explosive device is about the size of a tea bag and looks like an adhesive tape strip. Opening the letter triggers a percussion cap that detonates the explosives. Thin strips of plastic explosives laid inside of stiff paper are placed in the envelopes.

NEXT STORY