TEL AVIV (Jan. 8)
An aborted terrorist act on the West Bank last month led to the apprehension of four El Fatah gangs, security sources disclosed today. Meanwhile, an alert civilian was credited with averting a major terrorist outrage in the Haifa port area yesterday.
Security sources reported that the El Fatah round-up followed the interrogation of a young terrorist who was injured when he and a companion placed an explosive charge under an Israeli vehicle in the Kalkilya marketplace last Dec. 27. The device, which exploded prematurely, had been intended to take a toll among Israelis who visit the marketplace in large numbers on Saturdays.
The youth provided information that led to the arrests of five other young terrorists comprising an El Fatah cell. A second cell was subsequently uncovered by police who said it was organized to assassinate Arabs accused of collaboration with Israel. The members of two other cells in the early stages of organization were also arrested.
Police said a possible disaster was averted in Haifa yesterday afternoon when Edmond Bismoot, a shop employee, spotted a plastic bag apposite the main gate to Haifa port, one of the busiest corners in the city. The bag contained a powerful explosive and activating device which was safely dismantled by police sappers.