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Tense Situation in Hebron

Two Jews were detained by police in Hebron today on suspicion of attacking an Arab vehicle in the center of town with light weapons early this morning. There were no casualties. The suspects were not immediately identified.

They were the first arrested after a series of attacks on Arab targets in Hebron, believed to be in reprisal for the stoning of Israeli vehicles. A bomb exploded outside a mosque in Hebron last Friday, shortly before worshippers ended their prayer services. Unidentified gunmen attacked several Arab buildings near the Jewish religious suburb of Kiryat Arba Saturday night. A four-year-old Arab girl was wounded.

Relations between Hebron’s Arab population and the residents of Kiryat Arba have deteriorated recently. An Israeli woman died two weeks ago after being struck on the head by a rock thrown at an Israeli military vehicle in which she was riding on the Hebron-Beersheba highway. An Israeli bus was attacked by rocks on the outskirts of Nablus today. Arab student demonstrators in downtown Nablus threw rocks at Israeli security forces. A curfew was imposed on the Nablus casbah and on a nearby refugee camp.

The police have set up a special investigating unit to look into the recent incidents in the Hebron area. Acting Mayor Mustapha Abdul Natshe sent a telegram to Defense Minister Moshe Arens demanding an end to “attacks by Jews against Hebron residents.”

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