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Shamir: Arab Terrorists Should Not Escape Unscathed

May 5, 1989

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, visiting Jewish victims of an Arab stabbing attack, said today that Israeli citizens should make sure terrorists don’t escape unscathed.

Shamir visited a hospital where two survivors were recovering from Wednesday’s attack, in which two elderly Israelis were killed and three others wounded as they sat at a bus stop in Jerusalem. Such incidents ″anger us,″ and ″we have to act against this,″ Shamir said.

He noted that a large contingent of police reinforcements, believed to number 3,000, have been deployed in Jerusalem to prevent further attacks during the Eid Al Fitr holiday which marks the end of the Moslem’s monthlong Ramadan fast. But he added that citizens also had to play a role.

″I think the general public and the Jewish public must do their utmost in order to defend themselves and in order to prevent murderers from doing their deeds, and in order to prevent them from coming out unscathed if they succeed in doing something,″ Shamir said in remarks broadcast on Israel radio.

Parliament member Haim Oron of the Socialist Mapam Party was quoted by Israel radio as criticizing Shamir for calling on the public to take the law into their own hands.

Shamir’s spokesman, Avi Pazner, said the premier meant to say citizens should help police in guarding against attacks and in apprehending perpetrators. He said there was no intention to encourage vigilante actions.

After Wednesday’s attack, Israeli passersby chased, caught and beat the Arab attacker. Police intervened to rescue the man. Later, reinforcements were called up to stop reprisal attacks on other Arabs by angry Israelis.

Police arrested Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the anti-Arab Kach party, and seven of his followers for disturbing public order. Kahane’s followers had tried to march to the Old Walled City where they said they would attack Arabs.

Kahane supporters today staged a protest, demanding his release.

The Palestinian who carried out Wednesday’s attack in Jerusalem appeared before a judge, who ordered him held for an additional two weeks.

The man, 25-year-old Nidal Abdel Razik Zaloum, is from the West Bank town of El Bireh and told police he acted alone. He had a bandage on his ear and bloodstains on his shirt. Israel radio said he asked for a lawyer so that his views would be clearly represented.

Police said he had been a member of a fundamentalist organization, and the Islamic Jihad in Palestine (or Holy War) group claimed responsibility in a statement issued in Beirut.

In the occupied Gaza Strip today, Arab reports said five Palestinians were wounded in clashes with soldiers, four of them in the Shajayeah neighborhood of Gaza City. Arab reporters said masked youths left mosques after noon prayers shouting ″God is great,″ and started setting fires and blocking streets.

At least 460 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have died in the 17-month Palestinian uprising in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In Jerusalem, about 7,000 Moslems attended prayer services at the Al Aqsa mosque marking the end of the Ramadan fast.

Mohammed Al Kafrawi, who delivered a sermon, protested that Israeli authorities prevented hundreds of thousands from coming to the mosque.

Update hourly