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Gas Explosion Kills Two Women

A gas explosion that killed two women in the Katamon quarter in south Jerusalem yesterday triggered an outburst of anti-Arab fury among residents of the slum neighborhood who thought it was a terrorist bomb.

IIka Schwartz, who lived in a flat directly above the blast, was killed instantly. The second woman, Maria Hymovitz, 75, died later of injuries in a hospital. Ten other persons, including Schwartz’s husband, were injured by the blast that wrecked six apartments. Municipal authorities have arranged hotel accommodations for those rendered homeless.

Immediately after the explosion, which occurred at mid-day, neighbors poured into the street shouting “Kahane, Kahane” and “death to the Arabs.” Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the extremist Kach Party, advocates the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel and the administered territories.