TEL AVIV (Apr. 5)
Masked El Fatah gunmen broke into the home of an Arab communal leader near Gaza last night and wounded him his wife and daughter with submachine gun fire after accusing the man of collaborating with Israeli authorities. The victims were Sabri Elssa Ibrahim Fahidam, 55, the “Mukhtar” (head man) of the Nouseirath refugee camp council, his wife who was seriously wounded and underwent emergency surgery at the Negev Hospital in Beersheba, and their 18-year-old daughter, Nahsan.
The girl told police that the family was listening to the radio when her father, answering a knock on their door, was confronted by the armed men who engaged him in heated discussion. She said she and her parents were ordered into the court-yard of their house and machine gunned. An Israeli patrol summoned by neighbors, rushed them to a local hospital and then to Beersheba.
The shooting apparently took Israeli authorities in Gaza by surprise as they only recently broke up a terrorist ring believed responsible for a wave of political murders and attempted assassinations of local Arab leaders accused of collaborating with the Israelis. Officials said some of the terrorist gang members apparently escaped the dragnet and were still active.