JERUSALEM (Jan. 26)
The Palestinian uprising spilled over into Israel proper Thursday, as new violence erupted in the West Bank.
Israeli police raided the Arab village of Dabburiya, in the foothills of Mount Tabor, searching for arsonists who set fire to four local vehicles.
Palestinian flags were flown in the center of the village and anti-Israel wall posters appeared. No arrests have been reported so far.
According to the regional police commander, Danny Tabib, “this is an event of a dimension we have not seen in the past.”
Tension ran high Thursday in the West Bank village of Habla, near Kalkilya, where a second local resident in two days was killed in a clash with security forces.
He was alleged to belong to a gang that threatened Arabs who refused to participate in the intifada or were suspected of collaborating with Israeli authorities.
Military sources reported the capture of a terrorist cell in Akraba village, near Nablus in the West Bank.
The 12-member gang is alleged to be responsible for attacks on Israeli vehicles, including a gasoline bomb thrown at one of them.
Security forces demolished the homes of several gang members as a punitive measure Thursday and sealed off another house.
The same punishment was meted out in Tulkarm, where one house was demolished and another sealed. They were said to belong to members of a gang that firebombed a military jeep in Tulkarm, injuring two soldiers.
SAID TO FAVOR RABIN IDEA
A gasoline bomb was thrown at an Israel Defense Force patrol in Ramallah Thursday. There were no injuries.
Meanwhile, Israelis and Arabs alike were waiting for the scheduled release this weekend of Palestinian activist Faisal Husseini, who has been under administrative detention.
Husseini, 48, is associated with Al Fatah, the fighting arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization controlled by Yasir Arafat.
But he is also reputed to be a “dove,” one of the few Palestinian leaders on record in support of local elections in the administered territories “under certain conditions.”
This, at the moment, is the pet project of Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It has been rejected outright by the PLO and met with skepticism in Israel government circles.
Rabin’s idea is to hold elections in the territories after a three- to six-month lull in the intifada. Israel would then negotiate with the local representatives chosen by the voters.
Rabin reportedly intervened personally to have Husseini released, because he subscribes to the idea of elections and is considered sufficiently influential to challenge the PLO on certain issues if necessary.
Husseini, in effect, spent a year in prison without charges or trial. He was put under administrative arrest in November 1987, a month before the Palestinian uprising began.
He was released after six months and enjoyed a month’s freedom until he was rearrested and put under detention for another six months.