TEL AVIV (Aug. 8)
Israeli security, forces yesterday arrested 13 residents of Hebron after an explosion near the town’s aliya hospital one of three weekend incidents of violence on the West Bank, including one involving the continuing opposition of Arab merchants to Israel’s new, Value Added Tax.
The explosion in Hebron caused little damage and no casualties, the security officials said. Two passengers and an Israeli soldier were hurt slightly by shots fired at a tourist bus traveling from Kiryat Arba. a Jewish suburb toward. Hebron. They were treated at a hospital and sent home.
Shortly after the shooting incident, a hand grenade was tossed at the labor exchange in Hebron. No damage was reported to the Exchange but several windows were shattered in the nearby municipal building. Several Arabs were detained and a brief curfew was imposed on the area. In the third incident, stones were thrown at moving Jewish cars in Nablus where a merchants strike continues against the VAT. Shops in nearby Kalkiya. which had remained open during a week-long strike against the new taxi were closed yesterday.
Security officials also reported that 24 Arabs were detained recently in the Nablus-Tulkarem and Ramallah districts as suspected members of the El Fatah terrorist group. The army spokesman said the gang was suspected of responsibility for at least eight cases of arson in Israel and in the administered areas and in eight other acts of sabotage. Large quantities of firearms and explosives were found in possession of the 24 suspects in the continuing investigation by the security forces.