JERUSALEM (Mar. 28)
A wave of terrorist attacks continued throughout the weekend here, prompting calls by government leaders for Israelis to prepare for tough times and per-severe in the search for peace.
A 49-year-old Israeli from Ashkelon was stabbed to death Sunday in a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, apparently by two Palestinian construction workers building a new home for the victim.
Later in the day, an Arab stabbed a young Israeli man in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood near where a terrorist recently slashed students and a principal in a school courtyard.
The victim walked with a knife in his back into the Jewish neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv, where a passing taxi picked him up and took him to the hospital.
Security forces were searching Sunday night for the perpetrators in both incidents, and the army announced it was banning Palestinians from the Gaza Strip from entering Israel proper.
Also in Gaza, several shots were fired and a grenade hurled at a border police lookout post Sunday, but the grenade was dismantled before it could explode.
The attacks followed the killing Saturday of a 19-year-old Moslem border policeman in the West Bank town of Tulkarm.
In broad daylight and on a crowded street, an unmasked gunman ambushed the jeep of border policeman Jamal Masalha, who had joined the paramilitary force six months ago.
Officials said Masalha, who was buried Sunday, was the first Israeli Arab to be killed while serving with the border police. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin responded Sunday to the latest incidents by saying Israelis must resist the campaign by Arab terrorists to sow panic and fear among them.
In a speech to the Labor Party’s Central Committee, Rabin declared Israel must reassert its fighting spirit to combat the wave of terrorism.
Once again the prime minister called upon the nation’s youth to defend its schools against attacks of the kind that occurred last week in Jerusalem.
Rabin’s remarks prompted a bitter response from some Israelis, who believe that fighting terrorism is the job of the government and security forces.
The Cabinet, meanwhile, agreed Sunday to cut 50 million shekels from the national budget to pay for the recruitment of 1,000 new police to help fight the terror wave.
Jewish settlers in Gaza have said in response to the current wave of violence that they plan to replace their Arab laborers. In several recent incidents, Palestinians have killed their employers.
But Sunday’s killing was a grim reminder that the settlers cannot find enough Jews willing to fill jobs in fields such as construction, leaving them little recourse but to employ Palestinians.