TEL AVIV (Jul. 28)
A bomb blast in the Beersheba marketplace this morning injured 28 persons, four seriously, and touched off a nationwide mobilization of security forces against what is shaping up as a new wave of terrorism aimed at causing civilian casualties. Police rounded up ll suspects after today’s bombing and patrols were beefed up in urban areas all over Israel, especially the Arab quarters in large cities.
The Beersheba outrage occurred less than 24 hours after a bomb injured ll persons in the Carmel market-place in Tel Aviv yesterday. Two persons were slightly injured when a bomb detonated outside a Jerusalem movie house last night. Bombings occurred recently in the Petach Tikva market and in a Nahariya supermarket.
According to police, the Beersheba bomb was concealed in a large trash can with an electric activating device and placed under a vendor’s cart. The explosion severely injured the vendor’s legs and the lower part of his body. Other shoppers and vendors nearby also sustained leg injuries. Ambulances were on the scene within minutes. All of the injured were hospitalized and some were released after treatment.
Security circles attribute the new upsurge of terrorist acts to several factors. These include the fading out of the Lebanese civil war and a desire by the PLO to restore its tarnished image in the Arab world; the influx of summer visitors from neighboring countries who may include terrorists despite careful checks at the Jordan River bridges; and the policy of the new government which opposes any withdrawals from the West Bank, participation of the PLO in peace talks or the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, police have urged the populace to be alert to any suspect objects or persons and to report them immediately to the proper authorities.