TEL AVIV (Oct. 13)
Two members of Israel’s Druze community were arrested along with about 30 Arabs from the administered territories after security forces uncovered three cells of saboteurs believed linked with El Fatah. The Druze, Assem el Khatib of Ammi village in western Galilee and Faraj Hnifes, an army deserter, were remanded in custody for 15 days by a magistrate in Acre.
The saboteur groups are held responsible for planting two bombs at a road stop near Jerusalem where drivers pick up soldiers and for activities in the Nablus area and Yaabed village in the Samaria district of the West Bank. Several other Druze were detained but released after questioning.
Khatib is secretary of a small group that wants to abolish compulsory military service for Druze. The Druze, who are non-Arab Moslems, are the only minority group in Israel subject to conscription. The Druze community as a whole is regarded as loyal to the State.