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Nablus Mayor Claims His Remarks on Terrorist Outrage Were Distorted

Mayor Bassam Shaka of Nablus charged today that remarks he made in connection with a terrorist outrage last year were deliberately distorted and taken out of context by the Israeli media in order to facilitate his removal from office by the Military Government. Shaka reportedly praised the terrorist band from Lebanon that carried out the March, 1978 massacre along Israel’s coastal highway.

He did this in the course of one of his regular meetings with Gen. Danny Matt, the coordinator of activities on the West Bank. In an interview published in an East Jerusalem Arabic newspaper today, Shaka claimed that he had fold Matt that there was no power on earth that could prevent a recurrence of such incidents as long as Israel continued to occupy the West Bank, hold hundreds of Palestinians in prison and bomb villages in south Lebanon.

But according to other sources, Shaka in fact told Matt that he identified himself fully with the terrorist attack and considered such acts justified, effective and unavoidable until the Palestinian problem is solved. The subject was brought up when Shaka complained to Matt that Palestinian prisoners were being tortured. Matt countered by asking Shaka what he thought of the coastal highway massacre. Shaka reportedly replied: “To burn a child, that is a little too much, but the action itself was justified …. AS long as there is occupation and killings you will suffer from many more similar acts.