Three Israelis were found shot to death Saturday in what police described as two separate terrorist incidents in and near the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan River.
In another Saturday incident, as many as seven Israeli tourists were shot to death by an Egyptian policeman who apparently went berserk on a Sinai Peninsula beach just south of the international border, Israeli defense sources reported.
The new killings, especially those linked to terrorism and the troubled West Bank, are certain to add to a climate of anger and alarm here over a series of fatal assaults on Israelis at home and abroad.
The bound bodies of Motti Suissa, 24, and Edna Harari, 22, missing since leaving home for a picnic Wednesday, were found Saturday by searchers scouring the wooded hills about six miles southwest of Jerusalem. Police said they were shot to death.
Also on Saturday, neighbors found the body of Chaim Falah, who worked on a collective farm in the Afula area of northern Israel. He had gone riding earlier in the day, but his horse returned without him, police said. Searchers quickly found his body, and police said that it showed evidence of having been shot at close range.
Hundreds of policemen, border guards, soldiers and civilian volunteers took part in the search that ended with the finding of Suissa and Harari near Mevo Beitar, just inside the so-called Green Line marking Israel’s pre-1967 border.
Police said that the young couple and Falah were apparently the 14th, 15th and 16th Jewish victims of terrorist killings so far this year, most of them occurring in Israel and the West Bank. That would make 1985 this country’s worst year since 1979 for politically motivated murder.
Victims included three Israelis slain by pro-Palestinian terrorists on a yacht in the marina at Larnaca, Cyprus, on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, Sept. 25.
Blame Falls on PLO
Israel blames the Palestine Liberation Organization for the upsurge in violence and on Tuesday staged an air raid against PLO headquarters in Tunis that killed at least 60, according to the Tunisian government, and prompted a U.N. Security Council vote of condemnation Friday in New York.
Officials here said they have solid proof that the Larnaca killings were carried out by members of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat’s elite Force 17 commandos. An anonymous caller told a Western news agency here Friday that the same outfit had killed a Jewish couple near Mevo Beitar on Wednesday--apparently Suissa and Harari.
Details of Saturday’s incident at Ras Bourka, in the Sinai about 25 miles south of the Israeli port of Eilat, remained sketchy here early today.
Israeli officials and the Middle East News Agency in Cairo reported that an Egyptian policeman went berserk at about 4 p.m. Saturday, disarmed four of his colleagues and then opened fire at a group of people, killing eight and wounding four. Seven of the dead were tourists and one was the policeman’s commanding officer, the reports said.
Israeli military sources said that all the dead tourists were believed to be Israelis.
Israeli Boy Wounded
The Associated Press quoted the director of a hospital in Eilat, as saying that two of the wounded were Israeli boys, ages 5 and 12.
The Mideast News Agency said that the policeman was arrested and that Egyptian Foreign and Defense Ministry officials had assured Moshe Sasson, Israel’s ambassador in Cairo, that the man would be punished to the full extent of the law.
Israeli officials said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sent a message of condolences to Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
While some of the recent killings in and near the West Bank may be the work of organized terrorist groups, others appear to be the work of local Arab residents acting on their own initiative, in the view of some expert local observers.
More Uprisings Seen
“I see it more as an uprising on the West Bank,” said Zev Schiff, veteran military affairs correspondent for the independent newspaper Haaretz.
Schiff, who last week published a survey of terrorism in the occupied territories dating from Israel’s capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967, said in a telephone interview Saturday that the killings are “the first signals of a revolt” by the 1.2 million Palestinian Arabs living under Israeli military rule.”
“It’s much more dangerous than terror,” he said.
Suissa, a computer engineer from Jerusalem, and Harari, who was from Tirosh, a collective farm about 20 miles southwest of the city, were the fourth Jewish couple found slain in or near the occupied West Bank since October last year. Two of the other couples died within a few kilometers of the place where the bodies of Suissa and Harari were found.