Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Terrorists Strike Again: Injure 13 in B’nai Brak. Kill Cabbie and Booby-trap His Body

April 19, 1974
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A hand grenade was thrown today at a site in B’nai Brak just outside Tel Aviv where Arab workers from the administered areas congregate daily for job assignments in Israel, injuring 12 of the Arabs and one Jew. They were all hospitalized. An Israeli expert who examined fragments of the grenade said it was a standard Israel army weapon. Police immediately cordoned off the area, detaining some of the Arabs as suspects and taking others into protective detention, apparently out of concern that Jews outraged by the recent massacre of 18 Jews at Kiryat Shemona might attack the Arabs.

Police indicated they were checking three possibilities–that the grenade was meant for Israeli targets but exploded prematurely; that it was thrown by terrorists opposed to Arabs working in Israel; and that it was thrown by a Jew as an act of revenge. It was disclosed, meanwhile, that special parents committees, aided by police, have organized in schools to maintain a watch during school hours.


Police also reported that a major disaster was averted yesterday when a taxicab, containing the booby-trapped body of its strangled owner, was removed from crowded Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem and dismantled in a police station. The body of the owner, Zion Abergil, 54, was found in the cab trunk. Attached to the corpse was a time bomb, a tank of gas and a can filled with gasoline.

The cab was found by Mrs. Abergil, who began a search for her husband who had been missing for 24 hours. She went to Ben Yehuda Street, the site of her husband’s cab station, to ask his friends about his whereabouts and found the cab, with its parking lights on. Observing that the trunk appeared to be heavily loaded, she called police. An officer gingerly opened the trunk and found the booby-trapped body.

The booby-trapped car caused a considerable degree of unrest in the city. While scores of Jerusalem taxicabs followed Abergil’s funeral today, the chief of the Jerusalem taxi owners association threatened that Jewish cab drivers would not allow Arab drivers to pass through West Jerusalem. He also demanded that the police supply cab drivers with weapons for self-defense.

The municipality regarded the case as a warning that a disaster like the one which was averted yesterday might happen some day. Since there is special sensitivity to the protection of schools. Mayor Teddy Kollek met late yesterday with representatives of the police, the Ministry of Education and the central parents committee to discuss ways to increase security at schools. No details were given, but parents are organizing shifts to guard the outside of the schools.

Jerusalem police have arrested scores of Arabs as suspects. Speaking on Israel Radio. Police Minister Shlomo Hillel said today that the public should be aware of two problems: one, to keep a high degree of alertness; and the second, not to allow the enemy to succeed in deteriorating the relations between Jews and the other peoples living in Israel.

Recommended from JTA