TEL AVIV (Sep. 20)
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin has flatly rejected demands by West Bank settlers that he expel from the territory any Arab involved in hostile acts against Jewish settlers.
Rabin met with a delegation of settlers yesterday. They demanded tough action against Arabs in the aftermath of Tuesday’s ambush of a Egged bus south of Beersheba in which four Jewish settlers and the driver were wounded by automatic fire. Two Arabs in a car behind the bus were also wounded. The bus was bound for Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.
Violence continued yesterday when rocks thrown by Arab youths smashed the windshield of an Egged bus on the Ramallah-Nablus road, near the Jalazoun refugee camp. Stones also cracked the windshield of an Israeli car near Dahariye village. There were no casualties in either incident.
Rabin told the settlers that he had once favored expulsion in such cases but has since changed his mind. He also rejected out of hand the settlers’ contention that an expanded Jewish presence in the heart of the Arab town of Hebron would improve security there. Rabin said he had originally been in favor of building the Jewish suburb of Kiryat Arba just outside Hebron but always opposed Jewish settlement in the town.