JERUSALEM (Aug. 27)
Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir warned that attacks against Israeli civilians such as the two which took place in Jenin and Tulkarem last weekend will have serious consequences for the non-Jewish population.
Addressing a gathering in Ashkelon last Sunday, Shamir said that if innocent Jews are endangered, innocent Arabs must suffer. “We must not allow a situation to occur in Tulkarem or Jenin, or anywhere else, in which, when a Jew is killed, life goes on as usual, as if nothing had happened,” Shamir declared.
Andre Aloush, 40, of Netanya was shot and killed in Tulkarem, some 15 miles west of Nablus, last Saturday. Several hours later, Uri Ovad of Tiberias was seriously wounded after being shot in the back at very close range in Jenin, some 20 miles north of Nablus. The assailants escaped.
A curfew immediately imposed on the two cities continued this week as security fources stepped up efforts to apprehend the assailants. The curfew was lifted in the two cities for several hours to allow residents to purchase food supplies. Security forces said the curfew would continue as long as it was necessary for the purpose of the investigation.
RARE STATEMENT FROM WEST BANK LEADER
Mayor Hilmi Handoun of Tulkarem condemned the weekend murder in a rare statement from a West Bank leader. The statement was placed in the context of the large-scale interest among Tulkarem merchants to continue commercial relations with the neighboring Jewish towns.
Shamir, meanwhile, said terrorism was a threat to Israel’s existence, and had to be dealt with as such. He added that terrorist organizations were forced to resort to methods such as those used in Jenin and Tulkarem because their bases in Lebanon were destroyed, and because they were unable to conduct large-scale attacks.
Shamir also cited the renewed presence of Palestinian terrorist bases in Jordan as a reason for the increase in terrorist attacks on Jews in the West Bank and Israel. Minister Mordechai Gur (Labor) also discussed the presence of these bases in Jordan at the weekly Cabinet session last Sunday.
Gur was more cautious in his assessment of how to handle the presence of the terrorist bases in Jordan. “Once we are convinced of that, we shall start deliberations of how to act,” Gur told reporters. He said in the meantime, “we are quite hesitant” about specific action “because we do not want to cause any damage to the peace process.”