JERUSALEM (Jun. 28)
An explosion shook the center of Ramla Wednesday morning, injuring three Jewish residents and one Arab, none seriously.
Police said the blast was caused by a hand grenade concealed in a garbage bin near the central bus station. It detonated at 11 a.m. local time, shattering windows in the vicinity.
About an hour after the explosion, local Jewish residents stabbed two Arabs from Hebron working in the Ramla marketplace, in an apparent reprisal attack.
The three Jewish victims of the blast, including a mother and child, were treated for minor cuts at a nearby hospital and sent home. The Arab suffered a concussion, but was not seriously hurt.
Seventy local Arabs were promptly detained for questioning.
The police were also hunting for two Jews suspected of the reprisal stabbing. According to one report, the two were arrested and their victims were taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital with superficial injuries. One was discharged and the other kept for observation.
Ramla, a working class town about 10 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, is one of a handful of Israeli cities with mixed Jewish-Arab population.
RAMLA’S JEWS AND ARABS GET ALONG
Local residents said the two communities got along well. One Jewish woman told reporters. “It just can’t be a local Arab responsible.”
Ya’acov Turner, commander of the central police district, said the investigation was in full gear.
Referring to the attack on the Arabs, he told reporters, “Someone tried to pay back for the bomb, but we are looking for the two stabbers as hard as we are for the one responsible for the bomb.”
Turner said police reinforcements would remain in the city until Thursday to prevent further retaliatory acts against Arabs.
The commander stressed that 5,000 Arabs live “very nicely in the city, and we have no reason to suspect them of anything.”
He added, “This incident is not between Israeli Arabs and Jews or between West Bank Arabs and Jews, but simply the responsibility of the one responsible for the bomb.”