JERUSALEM (Oct. 22)
Police and military units are searching for a young Arab worker who stabbed a Jewish man Monday in the northern Jerusalem suburb of Neveh Ya’acov.
The victim, Moshe Koren, 46, was only slightly hurt.
The city is still seething over Sunday’s fatal stabbings of three Jews by an Arab construction worker in the Baka neighborhood of southwest Jerusalem.
On Monday, the murderer, Omar Abu-Sirhan, was remanded in custody for 15 days, in a closed-door hearing before a Jerusalem magistrate.
Israel Radio said Abu-Sirhan told the court his actions were meant to avenge the Oct. 8 killing by Israeli police of 21 Arabs rioting on the Temple Mount.
In Washington, the State Department said Monday that it was “shocked and distressed” by the stabbing deaths Sunday and “the wounding of several others on Sunday and today.”
“We condemn these murderous and tragic attacks and wish to express our condolences to the families of those killed and wounded,” said Margaret Tutwiler, the department spokeswoman.
WEST BANK ARABS BARRED
“Such acts serve only to prolong the violence which has been taking place in Jerusalem over the past two weeks,” she said, referring obliquely to the Temple Mount killings.
“Only by working towards a lowering of tensions can both sides begin a process of reconciliation which Israelis and Palestinians both need badly,” she said.
Here in Jerusalem, the police-army dragnet was still at work Monday evening combing the hills near Neveh Ya’acov, where the latest assailant reportedly fled. His home village has been placed under curfew.
Koren, identified as a meat dealer, was stabbed with a bayonet, the same type of weapon used in the fatal assaults in Baka. His assailant was a delivery man for a supermarket.
Jerusalem Police Chief Arye Bibi faulted the supermarket for allowing the Arab to continue working there after the police barred the entry of Palestinians from the West Bank into the city.
Jerusalem police announced Monday that they would keep the city closed to West Bank Palestinians again Tuesday, given the continuing high state of tension in the capital. Heavily reinforced police units continued to patrol Jerusalem throughout the day to prevent clashes between Jews and Arabs.
Isolated incidents of Jewish vigilantism were reported. They were attributed, for the most part, to incitement by Kach, the anti-Arab movement headed by Rabbi Meir Kahane, who lost his Knesset seat because of his anti-Arab provocations.
Government and municipal authorities are discussing ways to tighten security in Jerusalem. Mayor Teddy Kollek, in an interview Sunday night, suggested that Arabs might be screened by security forces before passing through Jewish sections of town.
SHAMIR FAULTS WORLD OPINION
But he made clear he believed such measures should be limited to periods of heightened tension and danger. To make them a permanent feature would jeopardize the unified character of Jerusalem, Kollek said.
Funeral services were held, meanwhile, for one of the Baka victims, police trainee Shalom Charlie Shloush, who was interred at the Mount Herzl cemetery with full military honors. Shloush died in the line of duty.
The commander of the anti-terrorist squad which Shloush served praised the 26-year-old cadet as a brave, cool and composed officer.
“Perhaps you were too cool yesterday,” said at the gravesite.
Shloush shot and wounded his assailant before being fatally stabbed with a bayonet from a Kalachnikov assault rifle.
Some politicians on the political right have charged that the police were reluctant to shoot to kill because they fear prosecution.
But Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said no serviceman or civilian has ever faced prosecution for killing in self-defense.
“It is an ancient precept: He who comes to kill you, rise up and kill him,” Shamir told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.
He also insisted that there was a direct link between Sunday’s murders and the world’s reaction to the Temple Mount event. Shamir said Palestine Liberation Organization vows to take revenge for those killings, coupled with the Security Council’s condemnation of Israel, had led to Sunday’s murders.
According to a report leaked from the committee, Shamir called the Security Council a “tool” of the PLO. And he again attacked the United States for seeking to maintain the unity of the anti-Iraq alliance at Israel’s expense.
(JTA correspondent Howard Rosenberg in Washington contributed to this report.)