JERUSALEM (Nov. 14)
Police arrested 25 Israeli Arabs this week said to be members of hostile groups operating in the Hadera area.
Aided by security forces, they bagged 15 suspects in Umm el-Fahm and 10 in nearby Muawiya village. It was reported to be the largest haul of alleged subversives among Israel’s Arab population this year.
In addition, Israeli police in the West Bank shot to death a 24-year-old Palestinian in the Jenin market Thursday.
Police claimed the man ignored orders to halt and tried to draw a weapon when he was shot. He was identified as a member of the Black Panther terrorist organization, on the wanted list.
The arrests inside Israel proper seemed to contradict the claim made only last week by the prime minister’s adviser on Arab affairs, Dr. Alexander Blei, that subversive activities among Israeli Arabs has been reduced to virtually nil since the Persian Gulf War last winter.
It appears, instead, that Israeli Arab groups in some locations are being radicalized by contacts with terrorist cells in the West Bank.
The Arabs arrested in Muawiya are suspected of unlawful possession of firearms, including improvised guns and ammunition.
The Umm el-Fahm group is supposedly led by a resident of the nearby West Bank town of Yabad. He is suspected of murdering a man in the town for collaborating with the Israeli authorities.
He is also alleged to have recruited Umm el-Fahm residents for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is associated with the Marxist Sons of the Land group, considered the most anti-Israel organization operating legally in the country.
Some members of the Democratic Front and the Communists were said to be included this week by mainstream Palestinians in the formation of political action committees following the Madrid peace conference. The committees are a precursor to self-rule.