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Probe Bombing Attempt in Carmel Market

August 21, 1978
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An investigation of the activating devices of the two bombs discovered last Thursday at the crowded Carmel market here revealed that the bombs were set to explode within 20 minutes of each other. The bomb set to explode earlier was due to go off one minute after a sapper dismantled it. Investigators said that the method of timing two bombs to go off in quick succession was apparently intended to cause casualties among security and first aid personnel occupied with investigating the blast and treating victims of the first explosion.

The explosive material, about 800 grams in each bomb concealed in two cigarette cartons, was placed in a nylon bag, the kind used by vendors to wrap products. The two men who found the explosives were Arabs from the Gaza Strip who have worked for years in the market. One of them said later he suspected that a woman who had purchased some cucumbers placed the bombs under the stand.

Inspector Omer Shtandel, the 24-year-old sapper, related later that he was frightened when he began to dismantle the activating device of one of the bombs and felt instinctively that he was working against time. He did not know that the bomb he was dismantling had one more minute to go before exploding. Police Chief Chaim Tabori cited Shtandel for his bravery.

MORE TERRORIST ATTEMPTS THWARTED

Meanwhile, there was an unsuccessful attempt today to bomb Ramla’s central bus station and two bombs were found and defused today in Jerusalem. The success in thwarting terrorist bombings in Tel Aviv, Ramla and Jerusalem, in addition to that last week outside the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem are the result of increased awareness among Israelis.

In light of such awareness, the recently established Public Committee for Assistance and Prevention of Terrorist Attacks announced today that the finders of the bombs in each of the incidents will receive a reward of IL 10,000, pending police approval. The rewards are the organization’s first since its establishment a few weeks ago. Committee chairman Eliezer Shiloni said public response to the committee has been very encouraging and that it has funds for the rewards.

In a related action, the Likud Knesset faction has decided to convene an emergency meeting of the unit to discuss steps to be taken in the wake of the recent terrorist attempts, including today’s attack in London. MK Dov Shilansky said Israeli intelligence sources said they expect an increase in terrorist attempts in the coming weeks leading up to the Camp David summit talks.

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