JERUSALEM (Feb. 23)
Many housewives brought bouquets of flowers today to the employees of Supersol, Israel’s largest supermarket, but the bright spring colors could not overcome the evidence of grisly destruction wrought by a terrorist bomb last Friday. The two victims of the Supersol bombing, Leon Kaner, 21 of Netanya, and Edward Jaffe, 22, or Kiron, a Tel Aviv suburb, were buried Sunday side-by-side as thousands stood by. They were friends, room-mates and students together at Hebrew University. They had been buying canned food for a botanical field trip when they were blown to bits.
The supermarket re-opened for business today and was thronged, mostly by Israelis who wanted to view the damage to the rear of the store, which is part of a chain in several municipalities. Nine persons were injured in the blast–the eighth terrorist bombing since the 1967 war. All told 15 persons have died and 151 have been injured in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv bombings.
About 150 persons, mostly women and children, were in the store doing their pre-Sabbath shopping–at 11 A.M., one of the peak shopping hours–when the explosion sent goods flying and broke glass. They ran screaming into the streets. Police said that the explosives consisted of “primitive gelignite charges” placed in coffee cans on a shelf among oil cans.
About 15 minutes after the store had been cleared, a second somewhat smaller bomb was found and de-fused. A third one was found in front of the British Consulate in East Jerusalem and detonated in a field. The explosion recalled the dynamiting of the Mahane Yehuda marketplace in Jerusalem last November which killed 12 persons and wounded 55. After that incident, angry young roving Israelis beat up Arabs. To head off incidents Friday, police escorted Arabs in West Jerusalem to their homes and moved into East Jerusalem to forestall rioting.
In Amman, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a guerrilla organization, claimed credit for the bombing as it did for last Tuesday’s terrorist sub-machinegun attack on an El Al jetliner in Zurich, Israel held its anger in check and took no reprisal action for the incidents. But Gideon Raphael, director-general of the Foreign Ministry, raised the possibility of retaliation after the Supersol incident. Asserting that the Palestinian guerrilla groups have “extended themselves from Zurich to Jerusalem, from Athens to Gaza,” he said, “they should know that this country’s arm is not short either.” Excluding Syria, he said Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq were responsible for these “irregular forces.”
Police rounded up more than 150 Arabs immediately after the explosion and many were still being questioned today. A call for strikes in Jerusalem by Jordanian press and radio failed to materialize in the city. There was a small response to it on the West Bank.