JERUSALEM (Jul. 5)
Tension rose in Jerusalem as Arab terrorists staged a second attack within one week, stabbing a 57-year-old Jewish woman in the back and moderately wounding her.
Batsheva Hillel, 57, was stabbed five times by two unidentified assailants Monday in the Jewish neighborhood of Mishkenot Sha’ananim, near Arab sections of eastern Jerusalem.
The attack took place four days after terrorists attacked a crowded city bus near the national police headquarters, also in an area between Jewish and Arab sections of Jerusalem.
Some observers linked the location of the attacks to the fact that the future status of Jerusalem has emerged as the main sticking point between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East peace negotiations, with both parties claiming that they would make no concessions regarding control of the city.
As the Palestine Liberation Organization leadership in Tunis was weighing its next steps in the negotiations, Palestinian radicals in the territories appeared to be trying to escalate the tension in Jerusalem.
In this latest attack, the victim was stabbed shortly after getting off a bus, as she walked toward her workplace in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, a picturesque artists neighborhood that often hosts special foreign visitors involved in the arts.
The area is not far from the King David Hotel.
The assailants stabbed the woman five times in the back. As Hillel began screaming, “Terrorists are killing me,” the attackers fled the scene, leaving one knife behind.
Doctors said one of her lungs was damaged.
Twenty-four Arabs were detained later in the day for questioning.
MOSLEM FUNDAMENTALISTS BLAMED
The preceding bus attack, which occurred July 1, during the early morning rush hour, ended with the deaths of two Israelis and two terrorists belonging to the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement.
The terrorists in that incident, having fled the bus they attacked, commandeered the car of a Jerusalem mother of four, with the driver in it, in an attempt to flee toward the West Bank.
Both the passengers and the driver were shot in a hail of bullets from security guards when they failed to stop at a roadblock.
It was not clear if the woman, Jeanette Kadosh Dayan, 39, died of shots fired at her by the terrorists or the Israeli fire.
On the bus, one passenger, Ella Haikman, 42, was mortally shot and died later of her wounds. The bus driver, Dudi Yom-Tov, who had tried to disarm one of the terrorists, was wounded.
One of the dead terrorists was reportedly Maher Srour, wanted for murdering Israeli security agent Haim Rahmani in Jerusalem about eight months ago.
However, the gunmen’s identities were not definite, as both their bodies were badly burned when their car caught fire during the clash with soldiers.
Another wanted Palestinian from Gaza who is a member of Hamas was on board the bus and was among the wounded. It is not yet clear if he was with the group or was aboard by coincidence.
Bullets were found in his pocket, and after being taken to the hospital he kept repeating “Allahu akhbar,” or God is great.
Moslem fundamentalists belonging to Izz a-Din al-Kassem, an armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the bus attack. Experts said it was quite likely that Moslem fundamentalists were also responsible for Monday’s stabbing.