Palestinian police, feeling the pressure to crack down on Islamic militants following suicide attacks that killed seven Israeli soldiers and an American student, arrested 112 activists in the Gaza Strip Monday.
Hospital officials said the student, Alisa M. Flatow, a 20-year-old Brandeis University junior who was from West Orange, N.J., died Monday afternoon after being wounded in the head with shrapnel in Sunday's suicide bombings.The back-to-back attacks, which occurred within two hours of each other and wounded 43, led to new calls from Israeli leaders for PLO chief Yasser Arafat to disarm Islamic militants in the PLO-run Gaza.
The Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility for the first attack, in which a suicide bomber identified as Khaled Khatib drove an explosives-laden car into an Israeli commuter bus near the Kfar Darom settlement. Six Israeli soldiers were killed and 34 people injured.
A seventh soldier, a 20-year-old sergeant, died of his wounds Monday.
A short while after the first blast, a Palestinian car plowed into an Israeli convoy of military and civilian vehicles near the Netzarim settlement and exploded. Eleven people, including two young girls, were wounded.
Flatow, the most severely injured, had earlier Monday been declared brain dead at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
Her father, Steve, said the family was donating her organs. "Her lasting contribution to the people of Israel is that her organs were donated for the saving of lives in need," he said in a statement read by U.S. Embassy official Ingrid Barzel.
"Alisa loved the Jewish people, the Torah and the land of Israel."
Flatow's roommate in Jerusalem, Chavi Levine of Englewood, N.J., was traveling with her at the time of the attack and suffered minor injuries. A third American also suffered minor injuries but has not been identified.
President Clinton, speaking Sunday to the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, said the enemies of peace in the Middle East seek to kill hope, "to kill all possibility for a normal life."
But Clinton said hours after the terrorist attacks that the incident should stiffen the resolve of the world to say to terror: "You will not succeed; you must not succeed."
"We have to find a way to push for peace in the Middle East and not let the forces of disintegration destroy it," Clinton said.
A leader of the Hamas group, which claimed responsibility for the second attack, warned that any crackdown by Arafat would risk all-out conflict in Gaza.
"We will not be the first to start the civil war, but do you expect that people will not defend themselves?" said Mahmud Zahar. "He will face a popular uprising."
The attacks led to new demands by Israeli Cabinet ministers and military leaders for Arafat to clamp down on extremists opposed to the Israel-PLO peace process.
In one apparent move to appease those demands, an activist accused of plotting attacks against Israelis was convicted and sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison in the first session of a special military court.
Arafat created the military court two months ago as a sign of his intent to curb militant violence, but no trials had been held until this session.