Moderate Arab West Bank Leaders Condemn Terrorist Ambush Slaying

Moderate Arab leaders on the West Bank condemned the murder yesterday of Khazem Al-Khatib, 23, and the wounding of his father, Yussuf Al-Khatib, 60, in an assassination attempt for which the Palestine Liberation Organization reportedly has taken credit. The father and son came under gunfire while driving to Ramallah. The elder Al-Khatib is chairman of the Ramallah Region Farmers Association which cooperates with the Israeli military government.

A statement published in the Israeli Arab-language daily Al Anba today said the two men were under death sentence by the PLO “for collaborating with the enemy.” It warned that violence between Arabs on the West Bank could bring a repetition of the tragedy of 1937 when hundred of Arabs in Palestine were murdered by rival factions.

The statement was published by the Hebron Region Farmers Association, a group headed by Mustapha Doudin, a former Jordanian government minister who has received death threats from local PLO supporters. Meanwhile, the Palestine News Agency in Beirut said yesterday that the PLO would execute all collaborators with the “Zionist enemy everywhere in the Holy Land.”

Israeli security agencies are investigating the attack on the Al-Khatibs, but no suspects have been detained.

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