Car Carrying Likud Voters Attacked In Jerusalem With PM-Israel-Election, Bjt
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Firebombs hurled by Palestinians today set ablaze a car carrying Likud bloc voters to the polls. Witnesses said the bomb set fire to the hair of a woman passenger, seriously injuring her and the two men in the car.
In Lebanon, Israeli warplanes blasted Palestinian guerrilla targets along in apparent retaliation for a firebomb attack in the occupied West Bank that killed a Jewish woman and her three sons on Sunday.
Lebanese police said four people were killed and 15 wounded in the 20th air raid this year.
Palestinians staged a general strike, shutting businesses and public transportation throughout the occupied lands. Troops shot and wounded four demonstrators in stone-throwing clashes in the occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Nablus, Arab hospital officials said.
The stepped-up violence coincided with parliamentary elections in Israel that pitted Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s right-wing Likud against Foreign Minister Shimon Peres’ leftist Labor Party.
Analysts said the attacks on Israeli civilians would give a last-minute boost to right-wing parties that advocate tougher policies in dealing with the nearly 11-month Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories.
As a security precaution, Israeli troops confined 250,000 refugee camp residents to their homes in the West Bank and Gaza and banned Arabs from travelling to or from Israel for 48 hours.
At least 300 Arabs and 10 Jews have been killed in the Palestinian uprising, which began Dec. 8.
In Jerusalem, witnesses said gasoline-filled bottles set fire to a car covered with campaign stickers that was being used to carry Likud supporters to the polls.
The driver lost control, smashed into a parked car and careened across the road. The vehicle was in flames within seconds, victims said.
″A man rushed close from a side alley and threw the firebomb from a very short distance,″ passenger Avi Assis, 26, said on Israel army radio. ″We were screaming because there were only Arabs around.″
An Arab passerby who identified himself only as Ahmed told the Associated Press the woman emerged from the car, her hair in flames, and residents came out of their houses to help.
″She jumped out of the car and her hair was burning. People ran from their houses to put the fire out,″ he told a reporter.
The woman, Yocheved Farbish, 23, was in serious condition at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek Hospital, hospital officials said. Assis and his friend Uzi Kazdan, 26, the driver of the car, suffered light facial burns.
Police said about 30 Arabs were detained for questioning, and said they suspected Palestinians were behind the attack.
On Sunday, a 27-year-old school teacher and her three sons, aged 9 months to 3 years, burned to death when Palestinians hurled firebombs at a civilian bus outside Jericho.
Beefed up army patrols guarded main roads in the Gaza Strip and West Bank today to assure safe travel to polling places for Jewish settlers, Arab reporters said.
In other developments, a military spokesman confirmed that soldiers on reserve duty in the West Bank stripped and beat Palestinian prisoners several weeks ago. One was accused of using a dog to scare the prisoners.
The spokesman, who confirmed a report published in a weekly Jerusalem paper, said a battalion commander, his deputy and a sergeant would be summoned to a disciplinary hearing. He said the deputy commander will be transferred from his post.
The names of those being disciplined were not released.
In Jericho, 18 miles east of Jerusalem, the army on Monday dynamited three houses and demolished four other homes belonging to suspects in firebomb attacks.
Israeli politicians had called for vengeance for the firebombing Sunday that killed Rachel Weiss, 27, and her three children, and Israel Television broadcast footage of the explosions on its nightly newscast Monday.
Three of the demolished homes belonged to suspects in the attack, the army said. It said the other homes belonged to other firebomb assailants captured Monday when troops searched the city of 17,000.
Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews in long black coats attended Monday’s funeral in Jerusalem for Ms. Weiss and her children, aged 9 months to 3 years.