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August 11, 1989 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-08-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES

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New PLO Tactic:
Quiet Murders

LOUIS RAPOPORT

Special to The Jewish News

T

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error attacks on Jew-
ish civilians in the
heart of Israel have in-
creased, and the PLO, while
publicly distancing itself from
the attacks, has been or-
chestrating the new wave of
terror.
Yasser Arafat, paying
scrupulous attention to his
image as the great peace-
maker of the Middle East and
jealously guarding his
dialogue with Washington,
has been careful not to put
the license-to-kill order in
writing, or to broadcast the
message on his radio stations,
as the PLO did two months
ago.
All
the
Palestinian
spokesmen,
including
powerless moderates like
Mayor Elias Freij of
Bethlehem, tell the media
that the attacks on the Jews
are simply aberrations.
"There is no pattern to the in-
cidents," Freij told me this
week. Referring to the
murder on July 14 of a
64-year-old contractor,
Zalman Yosef Shlein, by two
strapping 16-year-olds from
Gaza, Freij said: "I have no
confidence in the Israeli
media — they lie so much it's
hard to know what really
happened. Apparently these
were just two kids and the
fight was over money. The
media said that at first, but
then charged that it was on
national grounds."
The media was criticized
from the Israeli side, as well.
Arik Shlein, the murder vic-
tim's son and head of the
family's contracting firm,
shook with rage on a weekend
television news show over the
fact that the media had aired
the two Gaza youths' claim
that the killing was over
'withheld pay.' "Open your
eyes, Israel!" Shlein shouted.
"How can the media report
these killers' lies? This was
cold-blooded murder, with no
money involved whatsoever,"
It is now known that the
two youths are members of
the local Intifada Popular
Committee in Gaza, run by
the radical PLO youth group
called the Shabiba, which has
been at the forefront of the
uprising since it began in
December 1987. The latest
murder allegedly was
premeditated, and carried out
by committee members who
are under strict party
discipline — they don't move
without PLO approval. The

Yassir Arafat:

Gaurding his image.

killing followed by eight days
the slaying of 14 Israeli and
North American tourists
when another Gazan seized
the wheel of Bus 405 and
drove it over a cliff.
The killer, Abd al-Hadi
Ghneim, who is recuperating
from his injuries at Hadassah
Hospital in Jerusalem, is the
local hero in his hometown,
the Nuseirat refugee camp in
Gaza. The walls there are
painted with slogans from the
Islamic Jihad (holy war) that
read, "Congratulations and
honor!" Other messages are
from the PLO-controlled
United Leadership: "Long
live the hero Abd al-Hadi." So
much for PLO laments for
Western consumption about
the "tragedy."
Was the multiple stabbing
of the elderly Israeli a rogue
operation, like the bus attack,
the killing of two hitchhiking
soldiers, the murder of a
13-year-old Jewish boy in Jaf-
fa, and the stabbing of two
elderly Jewish lawyers in the
streets of Jerusalem? Mayor
Freij insists that "what is
taking place is individual
acts, spontaneous acts."
A number of Israelis think
that way, too, pressing the
argument that 'they have
their madmen and we have
ours, as well.' But there are
reports that the PLO has
ordered these violent acts.
Washington, which says it
will not talk to terrorists,
won't say a thing about the
PLO's new methods. The
closest the PLO has come to
admitting its new tactics oc-
curred on May 21, when the
United Leadership of the
Uprising issued Leaflet No.
40, the weekly communique
to the intifada's fighters. It
called on "Shock Troops" to

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