JERUSALEM (Jun. 28)
Following a weekend of terrorist incidents and Jewish-Arab recriminations, Israel and the administered territories were tense.
A Haifa-area woman, Hadassah Schechter, 28, had her left foot mangled Saturday, necessitating amputation. She stepped on an explosive charge buried in the sand at Carmel Beach. Her seven-year-old son was slightly injured by the blast.
On Sunday, an Arab was fatally shot and four Arabs and a border policeman were wounded at Ibadiya village in the West Bank east of Bethlehem during a confrontation between the Israeli surveyors and villagers who suspected the survey was preparatory to expropriation of Arab land to enlarge Jewish settlements.
On Friday, five persons, three of them minors, were remanded in custody in connection with the fire-bombing of an apartment occupied by Arabs in Ramat Amidar, a suburb of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. There have been two arson incidents and several physical attacks on Arab workers in the neighborhood, which is near Bar Ilan University.
Also on Friday, an Israel Defense Force soldier, hitchhiking to his base near Netanya, was attacked by two men who gave him a lift. He managed to fight them off but suffered a leg injury when he fell out of the car and was struck by it. Police believe the assailants intended to steal the soldier’s weapon, not kidnap him. It is not known whether they were Arabs or Jews. The car had been stolen earlier in Kfar Saba.
An Arab bus driver from Hebron, ending his run from Beersheba to Tel Aviv Sunday morning, found a bomb as he was cleaning out his vehicle at the central bus station. It was safely removed by police.
HAIFA BATHERS ANGRY
The incident at the Haifa beach drew the ire of bathers, who said the sand had not been raked as usual Saturday morning to clear it of debris and to check for mines. They also charged that no police were patrolling the sands.
A spokesman for the city council said outcroppings of rock at the section of beach where the incident occurred prevented the tractor-drawn rakes from covering the entire area. Police said most patrolmen at the beach were busy directing the heavy weekend traffic. Both complaints will be investigated by the authorities.
Emotions ran high at Ramat Amidar. Bar Ilan students claimed the trouble stemmed from a “neighborhood quarrel.” Residents interviewed by Israel Radio said it appeared to be a clear case of racism. But the Residents Committee complained Arabs were responsible for the tension because they lived 10-to-a-room and allegedly brought drugs and prostitutes to their homes. “It won’t end until all the Arabs are gone,” one man said.
KAHANE, SARID REBUFFED
Rabbi Meir Kahane and members of his extremist Kach Party tried to visit the neighborhood, but were ordered by police to stay away. A planned visit by MK Yossi Sarid of the Citizens Rights Movement was called off at the request of police.
Israeli Arab students at Bar Ilan and Arab workers from the West Bank rent apartments in Ramat Amidar. Three were injured in the arson attack last week, requiring hospitalization.
Meanwhile, Arab mayors in the Bethlehem area protested plans to drill a well near Herodion, southeast of Jerusalem, claiming it will deplete the Arabs’ water supply.
They said that for the past 10 years Jewish settlements have drawn off disproportionate amounts of water while Arab communities usually are turned down when they apply to drill new wells.