JERUSALEM (Oct. 12)
Security forces demolished four houses in Nablus on Wednesday and sealed off five more.
A curfew was clamped on the city, which is the largest Arab municipality in the West Bank.
Israel Defense Force troops, meanwhile, have come under grenade attack, indicating a new, deadlier turn in the Palestinian uprising.
The houses destroyed or sealed by the IDF belong to nine members of a vicious terrorist gang that has been murdering Arabs suspected of collaborating with the Israeli authorities, according to Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the central region, which includes the West Bank.
The murder victims were three local residents, allegedly stabbed and hacked to death with bayonets and hatchets.
Security sources acknowledged that the families of the terrorists, who probably had no part in the murders, were made to suffer by the demolitions.
But this was necessary to demonstrate Israel’s determination not to allow terrorism to take over the streets, the sources said.
As four successive explosions shattered the silence of the curfewed city, cries of “Allah akbar” (God is great) rang through the streets, an expression of both piety and defiance.
Mitzna claimed the terrorist cell was associated with the wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization controlled by Yasir Arafat.
“I don’t remember any other cell that operated so brutally, with so little consideration,” the IDF commander said.
Meanwhile, two IDF soldiers were sightly injured by a hand grenade attack Tuesday afternoon.
Another grenade was thrown Wednesday at an army patrol in Gaza, causing no casualties or damage. It was the third such attack there in the past two weeks.
A remote control explosive charge planted at the main entrance to the city was safely dismantled by army sappers Wednesday. An electric wire was traced to a nearby olive grove.
Arab extremists, meanwhile, are trying to extend the 10-month-old Palestinian uprising from the administered territories into Israel proper.
They have circulated “Leaflet No. 1” among Israeli Arabs in Galilee. It contains threats against “collaborators with the authorities.”
The leaflet also calls for the “emancipation of the Arabs.” It was signed by the Urban Popular Committee, a hither to unknown group.