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Terrorists Threaten to Kill Four Hostages in Lebanon

December 18, 1987|Times Wire Services

BEIRUT — The radical Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine threatened today to kill three Americans and an Indian it holds hostage in retaliation for Palestinian deaths in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In a statement delivered to the West Beirut offices of the independent An Nahar newspaper, the group warned: "We will use all cards in our hands, including the safety of the four American Mossad (Israeli intelligence) spies, if Israel persists in using criminal means in crushing the uprising and killing the innocents," said the three-page statement in Arabic.

The statement was accompanied by two instant color photos of American hostages Robert Polhill, 52, and Jesse Turner, 39. In the photos, Polhill, wearing a khaki top and a small beard, had two automatic rifles aimed at his head. Turner, in a red shirt, appeared bearded and his eyes were half-closed. Both appeared tired.

3 Killed in Gaza Strip

Turner, a professor of mathematics, and Polhill, an accountant, were kidnaped Jan. 24, along with two colleagues--American Alan Steen, 47, professor of communications, and Dr. Mithileshwar Singh, a native of India in his 60s--from the campus of Beirut University College.

Israeli soldiers killed at least three more Palestinian protesters today in the Gaza Strip.

The deaths brought to at least 19 the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by troops since a wave of anti-Israel demonstrations erupted Dec. 9, the worst wave of violence in the Israeli-occupied territories since Israel seized them in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The clashes began after a traffic accident last week in which an Israeli army truck collided with vans bringing workers to their homes in Gaza, killing four Palestinians.

Protest Outside Mosque

Two Arabs were killed today outside the Mughrabi Mosque in Gaza City, where protesters chanted and threw rocks, the Arab-owned Palestine Press Service said. It said soldiers fired tear gas canisters first, then began shooting. Israel radio said the Palestinians apparently were angry because Israeli troops prevented worshipers from attending prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's most sacred shrines.

The third Arab was killed in Bureij, a refugee camp south of Gaza City. The press service said soldiers shot a demonstrator in the head and heart.

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