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Widespread Arab Arson Anticipated

June 22, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Fire brigades and security forces are on the alert all over Israel in anticipation of widespread arson by Palestinians in the next 24 hours.

Leaflet No. 19, issued by the underground command of the Palestinian uprising, designates Wednesday as a day for the destruction of Israeli property and agriculture.

Police said they believe two fires Monday night that destroyed some seven acres of woodland in the Jezreel Valley were the work of arsonists. Two youths were spotted fleeing the scene of one of the fires.

Setting fire to forests, crops and grasslands has become one of the latest potent weapons of the Palestinian uprising.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres acknowledged this Tuesday in a conversation with reporters at the Knesset. Peres said it would take time to figure out ways to combat political arson or prevent it.

Preventive measures are being taken. Aircraft are being used to spot fires as soon as they are started, so that fire brigades can be ordered into action without delay.

Meanwhile, police arrested about 20 Arabs in northern Israel Monday night on suspicion of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

About 50 Israeli Arabs were arrested three weeks ago on the same grounds, after police uncovered large quantities of arms and ammunition among Israeli Arabs.

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