JERUSALEM (Aug. 2)
One Israeli was killed and five persons wounded Monday in a terrorist attack in Gaza described as a reprisal for Israel’s weeklong shelling of southern Lebanon.
Armed terrorists who were apparently members of the Muslim fundamentalist organization Islamic Jihad commandeered a bus operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees and then deliberately smashed it into two cars belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration.
According to reports, the terrorists had loaded the bus with explosives, which failed to detonate in the collision. An Israel Defense Force bomb squad subsequently dismantled the explosives safely.
Authorities believe that four masked attackers were involved in seizing the bus, although only two of them were on board when it collided with the two vehicles.
The incident took place near the Sheik Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City.
Yitzhak Amir, 46, an Israeli tax collector for the military government in the Gaza Strip, died in the collision.
Five people who were employees of the military government were wounded and taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where two were reported to be in critical condition.
It was not until after the attack had taken place that the driver of the UNRWA bus reported that the bus had been taken by force.
Police suspect that the driver had collaborated with the attackers, and he was held for questioning.
About a half hour after the incident took place, the Islamic Jihad publicized a communique claiming responsibility for the attack as an act of revenge for the shelling of Lebanon.