Terrorist Bomb Rips Downtown Jerusalem; 7 Killed; 38 Wounded; 10 Seriously; Large Property Damage

At least seven persons were killed and 38 injured, 10 seriously, when a booby-trapped handcart exploded among rush-hour crowds outside a downtown Jerusalem restaurant shortly after 7 p.m. local time today. The latest terrorist outrage here was regarded as a direct consequence of the anti-Zionist and pro-PLO resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Monday.

The blast occurred outside the Neva Cafe on Jaffa Road, some 100 yards from the spot on Zion Square where a booby-trapped icebox exploded last July 4, killing 15 people and wounding scores of others. Many of the shops and flats damaged in the earlier blast were severely damaged again by this evening’s explosion. Last month a bomb exploded under a stolen car in front of the Eyal Hotel on Zion Square causing slight injuries to eight Israelis and foreign tourists.

Police indicated that the same modus operandi was used tonight as in the July 4 outrage. The explosives were transported by the perpetrators in an innocent-appearing cart or porter’s dolly and left on a crowded thoroughfare. A passerby reported seeing a suspicious object to police shortly before the explosion occurred. Police did not immediately disclose the nature of the object.

WEEKEND SHOPPERS IN AREA

The terrorists apparently selected Thursday evening when shops in the downtown area remain open later than usual for week-end shoppers. The site of the blast is close to a bus stop where queues of homeward bound shoppers and workers were waiting to board buses. Only yesterday, a bomb exploded in a Jerusalem bus slightly injuring two children.

Ambulances were on the scene within minutes of tonight’s explosion. Most of the injured were rushed to Shaare Zedek Hospital. Police cordoned off the area and broadcast appeals to people to stay away. Mayor Teddy Kollek and Police Chief Shaul Rosolio were on the scene as city workers began clearing away the blood-spattered debris.

A potential disaster was averted only a short time before the Jaffa Road blast when shoppers in the crowded Mahane Yehuda market spotted a suspicious-looking package and called police. A bomb was found and dismantled by sappers before it exploded.

The UN resolution branding Zionism a form of racism and two other resolutions adopted by the General Assembly Monday enhancing the status of the Palestine Liberation Organization and endorsing the Palestinians’ “inalienable rights” were seen by many here as a “green light” to terrorists to step up their assaults on Israeli civilians. Many observers in fact predicted a sharp rise in the incidence of terrorism after the pro-PLO resolutions.

The resolutions have already fanned unrest on the West Bank attributed to PLO provocateurs, School children have held strikes and demonstrations in various West Bank towns this week. In Ramallah, a predominantly Christian-Arab town, police were forced twice this week to disperse potential rioters.

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