JERUSALEM (Oct. 7)
Yisrael Kitaro, a 43-year old taxi driver from Ashkelon, was fatally stabbed in a garage near the Madina Square in Gaza Tuesday. His assailant escaped.
Kitaro was the second Israeli from Ashkelon to be stabbed in Gaza in the last 10 days. On September 27, Haim Azran, 35, died of stab wounds inflicted while he was shopping in the Gaza market place, not far from the scene of Kitaro’s stabbing.
Police are investigating to determine any link between the two murders. Meanwhile they were out in force to control enraged crowds who massed outside the Ashkelon hospital where Kitaro’s body was taken. Police patrols prevented demonstrations and harassment of Arabs. They dispersed Ashkelon taxi drivers who used their vehicles to block entry to the city from the nearby Gaza Strip.
A curfew was clamped on parts of Gaza while police combed the neighborhood of the murder for clues. Several suspects were detained for questioning.
Kitaro was apparently taken by surprise in the garage. The owner told police he heard the victim scream but did not see the attack. Kitaro ran from the garage and collapsed less than 100 yards away. He was taken by car to local military headquarters where he died from loss of blood.
RABIN ISSUES A WARNING
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who visited Gaza shortly after the attack Tuesday, labeled it terrorism and warned that if measures taken so far to combat terrorism were insufficient, new measures would be taken.
However, he said in an Israel Radio interview, the two stabbings in Gaza in less than two weeks were probably local actions by some ad hoc group of Gaza residents. He acknowledged it was difficult to prevent surprise knife attacks and suggested that Israelis draw their own conclusions from the two incidents and refrain from visiting Gaza.
Premier Shimon Peres said he was confident ways would be found to counter the recent spate of assaults on individuals.