Knifing in Hebron Highlights Increasing Violence in Territories

Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Ehud Barak, in a meeting with settlers Tuesday at Ariel in the West Bank, said that the army was aware of — and was making a serious effort to apprehend — bands of armed Arabs operating in the administered territories.

He also said the IDF was devising methods to cope with the increased use of firearms by intifada activists.

On Tuesday, a Jewish resident of Hebron was knifed and mildly wounded by two Arab assailants.

Maj. Gen. Danny Yatom, commander of the central region, which includes the West Bank, met with local Jewish residents shortly after the incident. He warned them to refrain from revenge attacks and to let the army do its job of protecting security.

After the stabbing, a Jewish-owned car was set on fire and there were several stone-throwing incidents.

A curfew has been clamped on the city, which has frequently been the scene of clashes between Arabs and Jews.

The meeting was held at the home of Rabbi Moshe Levinger, one of the militant leaders of the local Jewish community.

Levinger once served a brief prison term in connection with the killing of an Arab merchant in the Hebron marketplace.

Meanwhile, internecine murder continues.

Arab assailants broke into Shifta Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday, where they shot and killed a 33-year-old Arab who was being treated for chest wounds inflicted by masked Palestinian gunmen Saturday.

The victim was suspected of collaboration with the Israeli authorities.

The incident was the second within a month in which armed men penetrated a government hospital to complete an unfinished execution.

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