TEL AVIV (Jun. 24)
Israel Air Force planes attacked terrorist bases in south Lebanon this afternoon in retaliation for a bomb outrage at the central bus station in Tel Aviv this morning which killed two Israeli Arabs and sent three passersby to the hospital with slight injuries. Nearby shops were damaged and many windows were shattered by the blast. EI Fatah, the terrorist arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization, claimed credit for the bombing.
A military communique said terrorist targets were hit in the Sidon area, including the Zaharani region where oil refineries are located and further inland. There was no information as to how many hits were scored. All aircraft returned safely to their bases. The Israeli air raids were anticipated in the aftermath of the bombing, according to reports from Lebanon today and the terrorists apparently took to their shelters.
The bomb totally destroyed a pick-up truck parked outside the bus terminal and hurled its two occupants onto the street. They were identified as Israeli Arabs but their names were not disclosed. It was not immediately clear whether they were innocent victims or whether they had intended to plant the bomb in the bus station when it exploded prematurely. Police rounded up about 60 Arabs in the vicinity for questioning and to protect them from possible violence by outraged citizens.
Police, fire-fighters and ambulances reached the scene of the bombing within minutes despite heavy morning rush hour traffic. The area was closed while searches were conducted for additional bombs. It was re-opened later in the morning and traffic at the bus terminal returned to normal.