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Tension in Afula

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The Jezreel Valley town of Afula was quiet but tense today, following rowdy and angry scenes there during and following the funeral in the afternoon of Albert Buchris, shot by an Arab terrorist in Noblus on Tuesday.

Israeli and West Bank Arabs who usually work in the town were again absent today, fearing anti-Arab attacks by enraged Jews who yesterday shouted “Death to the terrorists” and “Kahane … Kahane … Kahane, King of Israel,” a reference to Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the Kach Party.

Tempers were so high last night that the chief of police cancelled a planned and announced Israel television program at which Health Minister Mordechai Gur (Labor) and Minister-Without-Portfolio Moshe Arens (Likud) had been due to answer questions from an audience at the Afula Cultural Center.

Police said they could not guarantee the safety of reporters, who had been beaten up and a television camera broken during a scuffle at the funeral. The police allowed only a brief announcement by a television reporter from the empty hall, and a brief interview with the local mayor who said he was against the television ban.

But police later said the Mayor had told the police during the funeral that he thought the television program from Afula might be too dangerous to hold. Gur and Arens were interviewed by a television reporter in the Jerusalem studio.

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