August 22, 2002
Israel Captures Hebrew U. Bombing Suspects
Israel arrested a Hamas cell believed responsible for several suicide bombings, including one late last month at Hebrew University. The men, East Jerusalem residents whose Israeli ID cards allowed them to travel the country freely, also are believed to be behind the Moment cafe bombing in March that killed 11 people. In total, they are considered responsible for 35 deaths, including five Americans killed in the July 31 bombing at the university. Israel made the arrests Saturday night, but only released the information Wednesday. According to reports, Mohammed Ouda, a resident of an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem who worked as a painter for an Israeli contractor at the university, planted the bomb. The night before the attack, Ouda, 29, jumped the university fence and hid the bomb in a bag behind a bush, according to reports. The following day, he entered campus using his identity tag and retrieved the bomb. He planted it inside the Frank Sinatra cafeteria and covered the bag with a newspaper. He then left campus, later setting off the explosive by remote control.
Israeli troops began withdrawing from the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and two top P.A. officials agreed Sunday on a plan under which Israeli troops will gradually pull back from Palestinian areas, beginning with Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip. Hamas and Islamic Jihad vowed to continue attacks despite the agreement.
Popular Front Vows to Avenge Killing
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine vowed to avenge the killing of its leader's brother. Mohammed Sa'adat, a brother of jailed Popular Front leader Ahmed Sa'adat, was killed in Ramallah on Tuesday after he fired on and wounded two soldiers attempting to arrest him. Ahmed Sa'adat, wanted by Israel for his part in the assassination of Cabinet Minister Rehavam Ze'evi last October, was imprisoned in a Jericho jail in May as part of an agreement lifting the blockade on Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters. In another development, the Al-Aksa Brigade vowed to carry out "massive attacks" to mark the first anniversary of the killing of its commander, Yasser Badwi, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Supremacists to Rock Against Israel
A white supremacist group is planning a large anti-Israel rally in Washington. The neo-Nazi National Alliance is planning a large demonstration and a "Rock Against Israel" white power music concert Saturday outside the U.S. Capitol. Hundreds are expected at the event, and a counter-demonstration by anti-racist skinheads and others is planned as well. The National Alliance has staged several anti-Semitic demonstrations outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington in the past year.
Bear Kills Girl in Catskills
A 5-month-old Chasidic girl was killed by a bear while vacationing with her family in the Catskills. Esther Schwimmer was snatched from her stroller by the bear and dragged to death in a bungalow community of Orthodox Jews. Her mother took two other children to safety, and by the time she came back for Esther, it was too late. The 150-pound black bear was later shot and killed by a local police officer.
Briefs courtesy of Jewish Telegraphic Agency.