TEL AVIV (Sep. 18)
Seven persons were wounded in a terrorist highway ambush south of Beersheba yesterday evening. Five of the victims, all Israelis, were passengers and the driver of an Egged bus bound for Kiryat Arba, near Hebron. Two were Arabs in a car behind the bus. The driver suffered head wounds.
The attack occurred at 8:10 p.m. local time. According to a bus passenger, the vehicle was sprayed with automatic fire from a roadside olive grove. Bullets punctured the metal sides of the bus and left the windshield a mass of holes and cracked glass. There was blood on the steering column where the driver slumped when struck in the head. He may lose an eye.
Security forces and medical help was on the scene within minutes and the casualties were evacuated promptly. Roadblocks were set up causing miles’ long traffic backups. Israeli troops, in full battle gear, scoured the area for the perpetrators.
A curfew was clamped on the nearby Al-Khader and Dehaisha refugee camps. Security forces turned back a group of militant Jewish settlers who marched on the Dehaisha camp from Kiryat Arba, headed by Gush Emunim leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger.
The ambush ended a day of relative quiet on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There were several incidents of rock-throwing and a few Molotov cock-tails were heaved at vehicles as demonstrators in the territories marked the second anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps massacre.