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Security Forces Foil Terrorist Plot

September 15, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The three-day Rosh Hashanah holiday passed quietly for most Israelis thanks to the efforts of alert security forces who foiled an El Fatah plot to seize hostages and engage in a bombing rampage. Other terrorist attempts backfired when bombs under preparation exploded prematurely. One Arab was killed and two were injured in those incidents.

The only Jewish casualties over the weekend occurred this morning when a military jet crashed in the middle of Yokneam township in the Jezreel Valley, killing a 37-year-old woman and injuring a seven-year-old child and an elderly man.

Security sources reported last night that the leader of an El Fatah cell was captured as he tried to cross the Adam bridge into Jordan after allegedly setting up a hostage-taking and bombing operation.

His interrogation led to the arrest of two Arab youths from the Jenin area and the discover, of a large cache of arms, including Kalachnikov rifles, other guns, hand grenades, detonators, explosive charges and ammunition. The gang leader was described as a resident of Nablus who was trained in Syria and assigned to carry out the terrorist mission during the High Holidays.


A 19-year-old Arab was killed while preparing a bomb intended to be planted in the center to Jerusalem. His 18-year-old brother was injured and other members of the family allegedly involved were detained. Another Arab was injured while preparing a bomb in a weaving factory in Bnei Brak, north of Tel Aviv where he was employed. The terrorist, a resident of the West Bank, was hospitalized. The weaving plant was closed at the time. Damage was slight.

In another incident, police sappers safely dismantled a bomb planted on the Jerusalem railway line near Beth Tzafafa.

The crash at Yokneam occurred at about 9 a.m. local time. The plane, a Sky hawk jet interceptor, plunged into a residential street just behind the main marketing and commercial center which was crowded with post-holiday shoppers. The fact that most of the homes were unoccupied at the time was credited with keeping the casualties low. Property damage was considerable. The pilot was seen ejecting safely and was reportedly picked up by a military helicopter. Yokneam has a population of 5000.

Most Israelis spent the holiday in the country side and on the beaches. Eilat and Tiberias were the favorite resorts. About 70,000 persons picnicked on the shores of Lake Tiberias. More than 100,000 vehicles were on the roads during the three-day holiday but there were no serious accidents.

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