JERUSALEM (Jul. 30)
A resident of Afula, employed as a civilian by the Israel Defense Force, was shot in the back and fatally wounded today while shopping in the West Bank town of Nablus.
Albert Buchri, who owned a mobile food stall in Afula, had been standing at a pitta bread stand making a purchase, when he was shot at close range by an unidentified male assailant.
Buchri reportedly saw his assailant running away as he himself staggered to his car, which he drove to the nearby military government office building, where he collapsed. Security sources said he managed to describe his assailant before being rushed by helicopter to Tel Hashomer hospital outside Tel Aviv where he died on the operating table.
CURFEW IMPOSED ON NABLUS
A curfew has been imposed on Nablus, which was tense with some disturbances and rioting following the discovery of the bodies of two Arabs who had apparently killed themselves while preparing a car bomb.
The two Arabs, identified as residents of Tubal village in the West Bank, were found by security forces in a burnt and damaged Peugeot car in a field near the Nablus-Tubal road by a Palestinian from Nablus.
The murder of Buchri in Nablus today, the third resident of Afula to be killed within one week, is likely to inflame even further tempers in the Jezreel Valley town. Last Friday, the bodies of two Afula school teachers were discovered and three Arabs of a village near the West Bank town of Jenin have reportedly confessed to the murder.
Police had difficulty controlling the crowd at the funeral last Sunday of one of the murder victims, Yosef Eliahu, the 35-year-old father of five children. Urged on by followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach Party, youths in Afula beat up local Arab workers and shouted “death to the terrorists.”
Israel Radio said today that Buchri had been among the residents detained for rioting in Afula last week, following the report of the finding of the teachers’ bodies. He was released on Saturday.
DEMAND DEATH TO TERRORISTS
Angry demonstrators massed before the Afula police station today, demanding “death to terrorists,” and attacked reporters who were present and the mobile radio van was moved outside Afula for the safety of its personnel.
Since the discovery of the bodies of the school teachers, stuffed into a narrow cave on the Gilboa hillside, Arab employes in Afula have been scared to go to work for fear of reprisals.
According to the pathologists’ report on the two teachers’ bodies, Eliahu had been shot while 19-year-old Leo Elmakais had been strangled to death. Neither body had been molested or mutilated, according to the medical report.
The murder of the two teachers has increased popular demand for implementing of the death penalty for terrorist murders. The Cabinet met yesterday to discuss the issue, but postponed debate on it until next week.