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>PD OCTOBER 11, 1994, V2,#185


The double-decker Egged bus left the Beersheva station at 1:40 p.m. The bus from Beersheva to Tel-Aviv was between Chafetz Chaim and Kanot interchange (near Gadera). Police cars signaled the bus to pull over. The 55 passengers began to panic. The police received a "tip" that the bus had an explosive device on it. Only after evacuating the bus and checking it for over one hour, were the passengers permitted back on to complete the trip.

Terrorists Attack Jerusalem Shopping Mall

By Moshe Tzvi (Hatikvah News Service)

Late Sunday night, terrorists armed with automatic weapons, explosives and grenades attacked the cafe area in downtown Jerusalem. Police killed two and were still searching for additional terrorists at early morning.

Hamas, the Islamic fundamentalist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack in which two were killed and 13 wounded. Bystanders said the attack was well organized and took everyone by surprise due to its location.

The terrorists first started shooting at about 11:30 p.m. clearly knowing that this was the time of maximum density for nightgoers in the area near Yoel Salomon Street near Zion Square. As they ran down the street to Hillel Street, they continued their onslaught and wounded a number more. They attempted to use their grenades in this busy area, but none exploded. The police later found four grenades and detonated them with sappers.

The area, Nahalat Shiva, is an outgrowth of the Ben Yehuda Mall and is usually very crowded and packed with visitors. It is packed with outdoor cafes and coffee shops and caters to Israelis and visitors.

People hid until the police notified them it was safe to leave their hiding places. The location of this attack in the heart of Jerusalem augers poorly for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, as his policy of seeking peace is thwarted by Arab terrorists who have driven home to the Israeli populace that they are not safe within Israel proper and "peace" agreements are no more than paper promises.

This comes at a time when Rabin is fighting an uphill battle to surrender the Golan based on his statements that the Arabs have changed. Bystanders shouted, Rabin is correct, the Arabs have changed, they have become bolder.

This is certain to weaken his position on surrendering the Golan as Israelis find his word impossible to believe and realize that they will not be safe anywhere, especially now that the Arabs terrorists have safe areas for refuge within a short distance away in Jericho.

Many Israelis assumed that since they did not live in the territories, their future is safe and it was only the settlers that had to worry, a small percentage of Israel's Jewish population. Now that they find themselves exposed to danger they haven't faced since the Arab/Jewish wars, Rabin can expect a tough time as he will find his excuse, "causalities for peace," wearing thin.

Jerusalem Mayor Olmert and President Ezer Weizman were at the scene and expressed concern at the gravity of the incident. Olmert viewed the attack as directed specifically to the Jewish State and said he expected a strong reaction by the government

U.S. Aide Wounded During Hamas Attack

By Ron Pemstein (Jerusalem)

Secretary of State Warren Christopher was staying only a few blocks away from the shooting spree started by two Arabs armed with grenades and rifles in downtown jerusalem. He was not personally affected by the incident but an American aide official assigned to Tel Aviv was one of the wounded in the attack.

The Hamas movement claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says cast a shadow on Christopher's talks here. Both the prime minister and the secretary of state vowed that similar incidents will not prevent them from carrying on with the Middle East peace process.

The secretary of state goes to Damascus today to see if he can narrow the gaps that both Israel and Syria say prevent them from agreeing on a schedule for Israeli troop withdrawal from the Golan Heights and eventual peaceful relations.

In answer to a reporter's question, the secretary of state says PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat has a stake in condemning the Jerusalem attack even though Hamas took the responsibility. "I think that Chairman Arafat should respond to that and condemn it strongly. I think that is part of his commitment. There will be incidents but certainly I think it is up to him to give a strong condemnation of that incident because it is an interference with his efforts to achieve peace in the region. It is as much an interference with his hopes for peace as it is with any of the rest of us."

The secretary of state plans to see Arafat when he visits Cairo at the end of the week. The attack in Jerusalem was not the only regional diversion from the peace process. Iraq's troop buildup on Kuwait's border was another subject Christopher discussed with Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

Rabin said Israel can cope with any eventuality. This country was hit by Iraqi Scud missiles during the Gulf war in 1991. Christopher says they agreed Iraq will not succeed this time.

"Here we expressed our resolve that Saddam Hussein would not be permitted to intimidate the people of Kuwait or the people of this region. Our resolve is clear that the Iraqis must comply with all the relevant Security Council resolutions and there should be no easing of the sanctions until that happens."

After meeting with Christopher, Rabin said Israel would not allow attacks such as the one in Jerusalem to derail the peace process. "We will fight these murderous organizations, we will prevent them to our best to kill Israelis, and by no means we will allow them to achieve their goal, to interfere in our move towards peace."

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