JERUSALEM (Nov. 23)
David Kraus, Chief of Israel’s national police, told the Cabinet Sunday that caches of illegal arms have been found in the possession of Jews in the Old City. He said they included grenades and light weapons. But he did not believe they signified the existence of an anti-Arab Jewish underground such as was exposed in the West Bank two years ago.
Kraus provided the intelligence information to the Ministers after a week of anti-Arab violence and harassment by Jews that followed the fatal stabbing on November 15 of Eliahu Amdi, a 22-year-old student at the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in the Moslem quarter of the Old City Amdi was murdered near the yeshiva. Three Arab youths suspected of the crime are in custody.
Kraus said that unless calm is restored to Jerusalem, massive military reinforcements would have to be called in to keep the peace. He said the police preferred not to ask the army for help, but it could not allow itself to be overwhelmed by rioters.
Kraus told the Cabinet that searches for illegal arms would continue. He said he understood that people felt a need to protect themselves but insisted that the police could not allow them to act in an illegal manner.
He shocked the Ministers with his description of the persistent provocations by Shuvu Banim students against their Arab neighbors. He said one of their practices was to hurl bags of feces and urine from the yeshiva building at Arab homes nearby. The yeshiva is described as a school for penitents and reportedly has a large number of former criminals in its student body.
VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN THE OLD CITY
Premier Yitzhak Shamir called on “all sectors of the Jerusalem populace” Sunday to preserve order and peace in Jerusalem and avoid public disturbances.
Just hours after Kraus appeared before the Cabinet, a Molotov cocktail was thrown in an Old City street. A memorial service for Amdi, marking the end of the seven-day mourning period, took the form of a procession from the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood in West Jerusalem, where the murder victim had lived, to the site in the Old City Moslem quarter where he was killed.
Cries of “death to the Arabs” were heard as the mass of Jews moved slowly through the narrow streets. Men kicked at the barred fronts of Arab owned shops as they passed, the shopkeepers having prudently closed early and left.
At the murder site, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, leader of the Gush Emunim in Hebron and other rabbis harangued the crowd. They blamed the government and the Jerusalem municipality for Amdi’s death. But the police were out in force and no serious violence developed.