TEL AVIV (Jul. 31)
Police sappers safely de-fused a bomb in the downtown Haifa marketplace this morning after being summoned by an alert vendor. The market was closed for several hours but re-opened later in the day. The vendor, who saw a suspicious-looking object under a vegetable cart, was credited with helping avert another in the series of bombings that caused injuries to more than 40 persons last week in the marketplaces of Tel Aviv and Beersheba and outside a Jerusalem movie house.
The latest incident occurred only two days after security sources reported the arrests of eight terrorists in Nablus and Ramallah believed responsible for the recent wave of bombings throughout Israel aimed at causing civilian casualties. The terrorist cells in both towns operated independently but are believed to be linked to Naif Hawatmeh’s Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Hawatmeh’s radio station in Beirut boasted today that the Tel Aviv bombing was its doing and warned American and European tourists to stay away from Israel because there would be more bombings.
The Nablus cell is believed responsible for bombing the Petach Tikva marketplace two weeks ago in which a housewife was killed and the Carmel market in Tel Aviv last week where 11 persons were injured. It is also accused of planting a bomb in a Kfar Saba bus on July 18, 1976 in which 11 passengers were injured. Members of the same ring allegedly threw a bomb at an Israeli Army vehicle in Nablus last March. The bomb did not explode and was dismantled by sappers.
Members of the Ramallah cell are held responsible for planting bombs in three Jerusalem buses and at three locations in Jerusalem–the Mahneh Yehuda market, Hagona Square and the Shami St. movie house. The group was reportedly in possession of fire arms and explosives when captured.
PEOPLE URGED TO JOIN CIVIL GUARD
Meanwhile the Cabinet issued a call today to the public to step up enlistment in the civil guard in view of the latest series of terrorist bombing outrages. Interior Minister Yosef Burg told the Cabinet that the police department has set up a “think tank” which will devise new methods of combating the wave of terrorism. One suggestion already circulating in the news media is the digging of more “security pits” in public thoroughfares so that a suspected explosive charge can be quickly and safely disposed of and allowed to blow up harmlessly.