JERUSALEM (Aug. 6)
Riots broke out in Jerusalem on Monday night as Jews infuriated by the brutal murders of two Israeli teen agers over the weekend indiscriminately attacked Arabs and stoned and set fire to their cars.
The violence erupted despite the presence of heavy police details and appeals of restraint made by Mayor Teddy Kollek and Police Inspector General Ya’acov Terner.
The youths, Ronen Karami, 18 and Lior Tubol, 17, were traveling from Jerusalem on Saturday to Givat Ze’ev, a West Bank settlement a few miles from the city.
Their mutilated bodies were found Monday in an olive grove thicket in a deep ravine near the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina, less than a mile from where they were last seen Saturday night by a friend who gave them a lift part of the way to their destination.
The bodies were extricated from the ravine by helicopter.
Their skulls were smashed and they bore numerous stab wounds in the back. The boys’ arms were tied behind their backs and clothing was stuffed into their mouths.
Police reinforcements were rushed to the area of the killing between the Jewish suburb of Ramot and Beit Hanina, to prevent Jewish residents from wreaking vengeance.
But violence erupted on the other side of town, where the Jewish neighborhood of Patt and the Arab village of Beit Safafa virtually abut each other.
Jewish and Arab youths hurled stones as the police tried with great difficulty to keep them apart.
Arabs driving to work in East Jerusalem were stoned by Jews. In several instances they abandoned their cars in panic.
One Arab car was set on fire and pushed off the Bethlehem road between Gilo and Beit Safafa.
At least one television cameraman was hospitalized for head wounds Monday after he and members of his crew were stoned by Jews.
The two had left Jerusalem Saturday to visit their girlfriends, Maya Avrahami and Kinneret Mizrahi, who live in Givat Ze’ev.
The friend who gave them a lift dropped them off at a road junction near Ramot, where they apparently expected to hitch a ride to Givat Ze’ev.
When the youths failed to arrive at Givat Ze’ev, the girls telephoned their homes.
Kidnapping was immediately suspected and a massive search was mounted. More than 1,000 soldiers and police combed the hilly country, mounted and on foot, all day Sunday and into Monday afternoon, when the bodies were found. They were aided by trackers, trained dogs and helicopters.
The killings only added to tensions between Jews and Arabs, which were exacerbated following the pipe bomb killing of a Canadian tourist, 17-year-old Marnie Kimmelman, on the crowded Tel Aviv beach July 28.
The double murders have aggravated a situation made even more volatile by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on Thursday.
Politicians of all persuasions reacted swiftly to the brutal killings.
“The failure of Palestinians to condemn terrorism categorically and to expel from their midst those who perpetuate it casts a grave doubt on their ability to advance toward real peace with Israel,” Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.
“The Palestinian inhabitants must understand that continued terrorism will first and foremost hurt Palestinians themselves,” he said.
The Labor Party Knesset faction expressed shock over the “inhumane and despicable act.”
Labor Knesset member Shevah Weiss said such occurrences deepen the animosity between Jews and Arabs and make dialogue more difficult. Weiss said they amount to “the murder of peace.”
The left-wing Citizens Rights Movement issued a toughly worded statement calling such brutal crimes the main enemy of peace between Jews and Arabs.
Yehoshua Matza of Likud claimed Jewish-Arab dialogue encouraged terrorism. He specifically denounced a meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday between a group of leftist Knesset members and prominent local Palestinians.
Kollek seemed resigned to a prolonged period of tension. Under present circumstances, he said, little could be done to prevent acts of terrorism, and the country will have to live with them for a long time to come.
“Perhaps we could have reached a settlement 10 years or three years ago, but now, particularly after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, there is nothing to do except to strengthen ourselves and learn to live with it,” the Jerusalem mayor added.