Clocks change killed bombers

Eric Silver
Thursday 09 September 1999 00:02 BST

THREE ISRAELI Arabs who blew themselves up on Sunday may have died because Israel had put back clocks for the winter, while Palestinian territories remain on summer time.

Investigators think the three, from the Islamic Movement, did not plan to commit suicide. The bombs went off while being taken by car to targets in north Israel.

The devices are thought to have been primed on the West Bank and that the timers were set according to Palestinian summer time, while the bombers had put their watches back one hour. If this theory is correct, they probably intended leaving the bombs in crowded places and driving off. Because they had not quite reached their targets, only one passer-by, a 70-year- old woman, was badly hurt.

Seven other Israeli Arabs are being held on suspicion of involvement but the government is resisting pressure to outlaw the Islamic Movement.

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