Bombing victim alleged to plan attack in Israel

November 05, 1994|By New York Times News Service

JERUSALEM -- An Islamic militant leader who was killed by a car bomb in the Gaza Strip this week was planning a car-bomb attack inside Israel, the Israeli press reported yesterday.

In the most detailed article, the newspaper Haaretz identified the bomb victim, Hani Abed, as leader of the military wing of the

Islamic Holy War group and an organizer of past attacks in which Israelis were killed.

The information was not attributed to any source, but it bore the imprint of Israel's security services.

It fueled already intense speculation that Mr. Abed was killed by Israeli agents, either to avenge past incidents or to warn other Palestinian radicals what might happen if they continue a new cycle of violence that has gripped Israel and its territories for the past month.

Mr. Abed, an engineering instructor and editor of an Islamic Holy War newspaper, was blown up Wednesday as he went to his car in the Gazan town of Khan Yunis.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin yesterday warned Yassir Arafat, leader of the fledgling Palestinian self-rule authority, that he had to clamp down on Islamic groups seeking to undermine him.

If Mr. Arafat cannot show that he is in control and that his police force will stop anti-Israel raids, then "it is doubtful" that he will be able to speak for the self-rule areas in dealings with Israel, the prime minister said.

The suggestion seemed to be that continued attacks on Israel -- which Islamic Holy War threatens as vengeance for Mr. Abed's death -- could torpedo negotiations to expand Palestinian autonomy throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Mr. Rabin and Mr. Arafat are supposed to take up the future direction of those talks in a meeting Monday at the northern end of the Gaza Strip.

Aides to the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization said yesterday that he feels very much the man in the middle, caught between Israeli pressures to be tough and Islamic demands that not act against his own people on Israel's behalf.

But the anti-Arafat attacks lacked the fire of those Thursday, and Islamic Jihad officials sought to keep the situation from spinning out of control by apologizing formally to the PLO leader for the rough way he was treated at a mosque.

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