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Bomb Explodes Near Jerusalem Mall, Injuring Three, Including a Child

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A bomb exploded near a busy shopping mall in western Jerusalem Sunday evening, slightly injuring three people, including a 4-year-old girl.

Police cordoned off the area and detained scores of Arabs for questioning, which has become a standard procedure in suspected terrorist attacks.

The blast occurred shortly before 8 p.m. local time on the staircase of an apartment building on Ben-Hillel Street, which is perpendicular to the Ben-Yehuda Mall.

It was the latest incident in the escalation of violence in Israel and the administered territories since seven Palestinian workers were gunned down by an allegedly demented Israeli in Rishon le-Zion on May 20.

A bomb exploded at the Dead Sea resort of Ein Gedi on June 23, injuring two Israelis and two West German tourists.

On May 28, a bomb explosion killed an Israeli and wounded 10 people in the Machaneh Yehuda outdoor market in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Moshe Arens is trying to ease tensions in the territories. He ordered the early release of 416 Palestinian security prisoners Sunday on the occasion of the Moslem feast of Id el-Adha.

The prisoners all were convicted of participating in violent demonstrations, but not of terrorist acts. Israel normally releases a small number of prisoners before Moslem holidays as a goodwill gesture.

Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the territories met separately Sunday with Jean-Claude Aime, a ranking U.N. official visiting as an emissary of Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

For the settlers, it was their first meeting with a senior U.N. representative, and they appear to have found a receptive ear.

He heard their arguments that human rights in the territories did not apply only to Arabs but to Jews as well.

The Palestinians with whom Aime met urged international custody over the territories.

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