TEL AVIV (Sep. 29)
An Israeli army officer and an Arab bus passenger were the victims of terrorist activities over the weekend. Lt. Gad Raz of Tel Aviv, was fatally wounded yesterday when terrorists ambushed his infantry patrol on the western slopes of Mt. Hermon near Har Dov. One terrorist was killed in a skirmish that followed, but another escaped leaving behind a Kalachnikof rifle. Lt. Raz was evacuated by helicopter but died on the way to the hospital.
A bomb exploded in the rear of an Egged bus carrying Arab workers from Gaza to Tel Aviv early this morning, taking the life of one passenger and seriously injuring three others. The explosion which severely damaged the bus, occurred near the south Tel Aviv railway station. Local residents administered first aid to the injured and kept watch on the other passengers–about 40 in number–until police arrived.
Several passengers who managed to slip away were picked up later and detained for questioning. Police said the bomb may have been planted before the bus left Gaza as a warning to Arabs against holding jobs in Israel; or it may have been carried aboard by a passenger who intended to plant it somewhere in Tel Aviv and exploded prematurely.
A small explosive device was found in a Jerusalem bus this afternoon and defused before it exploded. The device was spotted by the bus driver who came across a suspicious-looking parcel on a rear seat while making a routine inspection of the vehicle after it reached the bus terminal.
FOIL PLOT TO CAPTURE HOSTAGES
Security sources reported, meanwhile, that terrorists have renewed their efforts to infiltrate into Israel for the purpose of capturing hostages for whose lives they would demand the release of convicted terrorists and saboteurs in Israeli Jails. A driver on the way to Eilat Friday night was fired on by two unidentified persons on the road who had signaled him to stop. He reported the incident to police who combed the area and captured two terrorist suspects yesterday morning on a hillside near Beer Orah north or Eilat.
According to police, the two men were heavily armed and were carrying leaflets demanding the release of 20 terrorists in Israeli custody. The leaflets were signed by “The Sons of Firdan,” a hitherto unknown group. According to security sources, the name is just one of several used by cells of E1 Fatah.
Security sources also reported several recent incidents in which terrorist infiltrators who entered Israel returned to Lebanon without perpetrating any acts. Arms and leaflets were left behind by infiltrators near Fassouta, Hanita and Malakiyeh in northern Israel. In each case, the leaf- lets were signed by a different group but all are believed to be part of E1 Fatah.
JORDAN WON’T COOPERATE WITH TERRORISTS
Israeli security forces have been strengthened along the Lebanese border and on the infiltration routes from Syria. As a result, security, sources said, the terrorists are attempting to enter Israel via Jordan, risking capture by Jordanian forces. The Jordanians do not cooperate with terrorists seeking to use their territory as a corridor to Israel.
Last week a unit of the Jordanian Arab Legion reportedly slashed with terrorists who shelled the Israeli Arab settlement of Ne’ot Hakikar. Jordanian soldiers have been seen patrolling the east side of the Jordan Valley in recent days, apparently on the look-out for terrorists.
The terrorists, who claim to represent all Palestinians, have already created a rift between Egypt and Syria on one hand and Jordan on the other. King Hussein of Jordan refused last week to participate in an Arab League conference in Cairo which recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole representative of the Palestinian Arabs. The PLO, headed by E1 Fatah chieftain Yasir Arafat, is the umbrella organization of several terror groups based in Lebanon and Syria.
SPLIT IN PLO RANKS
Last Thursday, however, Ahmed Yamani, a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, announced in Beirut that the group was pulling out of the PLO’s executive committee in protest against PLO’s readiness to participate in Middle East peace talks. Yamani said that two other PLO constituents, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and the Iraqi-sponsored Arab Liberation Front would also announce their withdrawal shortly.
The three groups have been urging the PLO to break off with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and join ranks with Arab states such as Iraq and Libya which are adamantly opposed to any peace settlement with Israel.
Meanwhile, Sadat declared in Cairo last night that Egypt and Syria would reject any Middle East settlement that did not restore the rights of the Palestine’s as Addressing the National Assembly and the Arab Socialist Union, Egypt’s only political party, Sadat said, “We are ready to use all possible means to reach political settlement but it is imperative that the Israelis withdraw from every inch of occupied Arab territory.” The parliamentary session was called to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt.