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Shots Fired at Arab Legislator

May 31, 1996

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Two assailants armed with M-16 assault rifles shot from a car at a deputy minister in Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ Cabinet as he worked in his front yard Friday.

Saleh Tarif, a member of Israel’s minority Druse sect, dived for cover and was not hit by the burst of eight to 10 shots, said police spokesman Danny Koffler.

Two suspects drove off, but were detained shortly afterwards.

The shooting occurred at about the same time as the results of Israel’s election for prime minister were announced, and the leader of the opposition Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, was declared the winner over Peres.

The shooting occurred in the Druse village of Julis in northern Israel. Tarif, who is a deputy interior minister, is a member of Peres’ Labor Party.

Tarif’s cousin, Ali Tarif, said the suspects were both residents of Julis and Likud supporters.

The Druse follow an offshoot of Islam. Most Druse men serve in Israel’s army, and many have weapons in their homes.

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