Bombing of Workers’ Bus is First of Its Kind

Firebombs were thrown Thursday at a bus carrying Arab and Jewish workers near the Arab village of Azarya on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. No serious injuries were reported but the bus was severely damaged.

The bus, operated by the Gershon Tours Company, makes the run daily, picking up Jewish workers from Ma’aleh Adumim and Arab workers from neighboring Azarya to their places of work in Jerusalem.

Just as the bus was about to stop in Azarya for Arab workers to get on, two boys appeared, their heads covered with the traditional keffiyeh headdress, and threw two Molotov cocktails at the bus.

The bus immediately burst into flames. Several workers seated at the front rushed out of the bus. One man was slightly injured as he stepped from the burning bus.

This is the first time since the uprising began last December that a bus carrying passengers was attacked with a petrol bomb. Up till now, buses had only been the object of rock throwing attacks.

Meanwhile, the unrest continued in the territories as a curfew was imposed Thursday on Nablus following riots which erupted the night before.

At least 13 people were wounded by Israel Defense Force gunfire Wednesday, on the first day of a two-day strike called by the leadership of the uprising.

Riots were also reported in nearby refugee camps. Three houses, occupied by members of the outlawed popular committees, were demolished Wednesday by security forces.

Riots were also reported in the Gaza Strip, where four people were reportedly injured. A curfew was imposed on three refugee camps in the Gaza area and the Sheik Radwan neighborhood in Gaza.

Military police are investigating the death of a Gaza area resident, Hani a-Shami, who was detained three days ago when he tried to stop the arrest of his son, who was accused of security offenses.

The father was reportedly checked by a doctor after having inhaled tear gas during his arrest. The doctor was said to approve his arrest, but the man died a few days later.

As the strike in the territories continued for its second day, a resident of Yatta, in the Hebron mountains, was brutally murdered early Thursday. Some 30 masked men broke into the home of Saadi Hassan al-Hahroush, dragged him outside, and killed him with axe blows. No motive for the attack was established.

A firebomb was thrown Thursday morning into the offices of the municipality of the Arab town of Shfaram, near Haifa, resulting in slight damage to the building.

The national flag as well as Shfaram’s emblem were defaced. Slogans attacking Mayor Ibrahim Nimer Hussein were also smeared on nearby walls.

The mayor is chairman of the National Committee of Arab Mayors in Israel and is considered a popular figure with all political camps in the country.

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