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Policeman Stabbed, Soldier Shot in Retaliatory Acts by Arabs

A young Arab from the West Bank stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli policeman in Jerusalem on Saturday and was himself wounded and captured.

On Sunday, Palestinians in the West Bank opened fire on an Israeli soldier from a passing car as the soldier stood near an army base near Ramallah. The soldier was slightly injured in the hand.

The incidents were the latest in the mounting number of seemingly random attacks by individual Arabs on Jews in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel.

They appear to have prompted the defense establishment to announce it would bar 2,400 more Palestinians in the administered territories from entering Israel. The new order adds to some 8,400 Palestinians already banned indefinitely from Israel for security reasons.

Their names appear on a list drawn up by the police and the Shin Bet internal security service. The 2,400 newly listed undesirables will be banned for a six-month period, according to Shmuel Goren, coordinator of government affairs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The weekend attacks are the latest in a wave of terrorist acts aimed at avenging the fatal shooting of at least 17 Arabs by Israeli police during the Oct. 8 riots on the Temple Mount.

Saturday’s victim was Ofer Hajabi, 28, one of two police patrolmen guarding Hanevi’im Street, a pedestrian thoroughfare on the border between the eastern and western parts of Jerusalem used by Jews going to and from the Western Wall.

Hajabi was rushed unconscious to Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital, where his condition was reported serious after twice undergoing chest surgery. He was placed in intensive care after the operation.

The soldier’s name was not immediately available.

Hajabi’s assailant was identified as Amin Abed Rabo, an 18-year-old resident of a village near Nablus.

According to police, Rabo emerged suddenly from a carpet shop and plunged a knife into Hajabi’s chest. He had purchased the knife that morning.

Rabo fled toward a nearby parking lot but was shot in the leg by another policeman and taken to the same hospital as his victim.

The escalation of this type of violence has created a sense of insecurity among Israelis, especially in Jerusalem.

Parents worry about letting their children play in the streets. Adults take detours to avoid passing near Arab neighborhoods. Jews are reluctant to employ Arabs, and many Israelis are carrying handguns.

Deepening the concern is evidence that the intifada has gotten out of the control of its own leadership as it approaches the end of its third year on Dec. 9.

Four Palestinians died over the weekend at the hands of their own people. They brought to 364 the number of Arabs murdered by fellow Arabs as suspected collaborators since the intifada began, according to unofficial figures supplied by the Israel Defense Force.

It is more than half the number of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli security forces in the same period. Unofficial IDF figures put those fatalities at 624.

It is the random attacks in the street, though, that have become a trying security and political problem for Israeli leaders.

Cabinet ministers are reported to be considering compulsory service in the civil guard along the same lines as army reserve duty.

But it is doubtful authorities will be able to contain individual terrorism as long as Palestinians can travel freely between the administered territories and Israel proper.

The Gaza Strip, which has only two access roads to Israel proper, could be sealed off.

But the IDF has rejected the idea for fear of creating an explosive situation among its 800,000 Arab inhabitants.

As a result, Goren does not believe there is a need to “drastically change” security arrangements in the administered territories.

Beyond the exclusion of more undesirables from Israel proper, Goren suggested that new efforts be made to create job opportunities for Palestinians in the territories themselves so fewer would depend on jobs in Israel for a living.

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