Terrorists Murder Moslem Circassian Man. Wound His Wife; Captured by Towns People. Israeli Forces
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Terrorists Murder Moslem Circassian Man. Wound His Wife; Captured by Towns People. Israeli Forces

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Terrorists attacked a family in a Moslem Circassian village in Upper Galilee last night, murdering a man and wounding his pregnant wife who they mistakenly took for Jews. The latest outrage climaxed a weekend of violence in which an Israeli patrol killed five terrorist infiltrators in the Fatahland region of southern Lebanon and Israeli artillery and Air Force jets blasted terrorist concentrations in that area.

The two heavily armed terrorists who invaded Rihaniya village, north of Safad on a murder and hostage mission were captured after armed citizens, police and army units surrounded the house they had entered at about 10 p.m. local time. One of the terrorists was wounded, apparently by an accidental shot fired by his companion. An investigation today revealed that the terrorists may have come from Lebanon. Both are former residents of the administered territories.

Their victim was Subhi Moussa, a 35-year-old worker at the Israel-American Paper Mills in Hadera who was shot to death. His pregnant wife cried out as she fell wounded and the terrorists, hearing a language that was not Hebrew, realized they had made a mistake. According to police, they asked Moussa’s ten-year-old daughter if they were Jews or Arabs. When the girl replied that they were Circassians, one terrorist said, “Sorry, we thought you were Jews.” The girl and her two brothers, aged seven and five, were unhurt.


Rihaniya village was in mourning today. Schools and shops were closed and the villagers stayed away from their jobs. Subhi Moussa’s wife underwent surgery and was reported out of danger. Defense Minister Shimon Peres said during the funeral of Subhi Moussa that the village will get arms and more street lighting during night hours.

Police said the terrorists may have mistaken Rihaniya for a Jewish town because of its modern two-story houses, telephone and electric power lines which are not characteristics of most of the Arab villages in the region. The Circassians, non-Arab Moslems, are Israeli citizens. Many have served with distinction in Israel’s armed forces.

The terrorists surrendered after Israeli units prevented infuriated townspeople from storming the house. They were heavily armed, carried nylon rope, apparently intended to tie hostages and documents identifying them as members of Yasir Arafat’s El Fatah. They also carried leaflets demanding the release of five terrorists imprisoned in Israel, including Archbishop Hillarion Capucci, who is on trial in Jerusalem for smuggling arms to terrorists, and Uddi Adiv, a young Israeli serving a prison term for membership in a Jewish-Arab spy ring.


Late Thursday night an Israeli patrol surprised terrorist infiltrators on Lebanese territory north of Kibbutz Dan. Five were killed in a brief exchange of fire and a sixth is believed to have escaped. There were no Israeli casualties. The dead men were carrying Kalachnikof assault rifles, bazookas, sub-machine-guns and rope. Documents on the bodies identified the terrorists as members of George Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Israeli artillery shelled terrorist bases and concentrations yesterday morning. During the afternoon. Israel Air Force planes attacked terrorist hide-outs in wadis and orchards near the Lebanese villages of Kafra and Rases. Israeli artillery resumed the shelling shortly after the attack on Rihaniya. Israeli security forces were in a high state of alert over the weekend in anticipation of possible terrorist acts on Nov. 29. the 27th anniversary of the United Nations decision to partition Palestine.

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