A bomb attack on a crowded Israeli market on Thursday (3 August) brought a swift retaliatory raid by the Israelis.
A bomb attack on a crowded Israeli market on Thursday (3 August) brought a swift retaliatory raid by the Israelis. Within a few hours, the Israelis despatched jet fighters to attack a Palestinian guerrilla base in Lebanon. But Palestinian sources said the base, at Zahrani, was empty, and the only casualty was a local farmer who was wounded. The bomb attack on the Israeli market killed one person and injured nearly 50.
SYNOPSIS: The bomb was placed under a shirt stall in the Carmel market, the main street market in Tel Aviv. It exploded just before midday when the streets were crowded with Israelis stocking up for the weekend, and with tourists looking for bargains. The salesman at the stall was not badly hurt, but a woman buying there was. She was flung to the ground, covered in blood.
Market places have long been favourite targets for Arab guerrilla bomb attacks. The Palestine Liberation Organisation claimed responsibility for this one, but so did a rival Palestinian group. Israeli police and troops were immediately on the scene in force, and quickly sealed off the area. A number of Arabs in the vicinity were rounded up for interrogation. Some Arabs gave themselves up, fearing for their own safety at the hands of angry Israelis.
A number of Israelis tried to storm the police lines with shouts of "Death to the Arabs". One demonstrator was arrested. The Israeli Interior Minister, Yosef Burg, who visited the scene, said it was an attempt to set Jew against Arab. Three hours after the blast, the market was reopened. Despite the number of injuries, material damage was not extensive. Police said it looked as though the bomb was a small home made device. At least three of the injured were said to be in a critical condition. They were taken to two hospitals nearby, where teams of doctors performed a number of emergency operations.
The Carmel market lies on the edge of Jaffa Old City, which is still the home of many Arabs. The attack was the first fatal bomb blast in Tel Aviv this year, although there have been several in Jerusalem.