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A 16-year-old boy was killed yesterday by a fragmentation grenade thrown at a car wash in the Galilee village of Rama, near Carmiel. Police suspect the grenade was thrown as part of either an underworld feud or a business dispute.

The grenade was thrown at about 5 P.M., when Ayal Hamdan, a Rama resident employed by the roadside car wash, was busy washing cars. It is not yet clear whether it was thrown from a passing vehicle or by a pedestrian.

Hamdan suffered wounds all over his body. A Magen David Adom ambulance crew responded, along with the police, but was unable to save him.

Police, who said the car wash owner was well-known to them, promptly arrested two suspects, but their involvement, if any, is still under investigation.

Investigators said the grenade was standard army issue.

Relatively quiet

Police also noted that Rama has been relatively quiet in recent years, thanks to intensive police activity there. In light of yesterday's incident, however, they are now considering stationing additional units in the town - in part to prevent a wave of revenge attacks for Hamdan's death.

Hamdan's uncle, Salah Hamdan, said that Ayal had only just begun studying at the famed Kadoorie agricultural school, after attending an agricultural school in Rama for years.

"He was a good boy whose life was just beginning," Salah Hamdan said. "We've been hit by a calamity. None of us can digest the fact that his life has ended in such a tragic and brutal fashion."

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said the use of weapons in Arab towns has become "routine, and someone has to take the matter into their hands. Not a day goes by without a crime and the use of live weapons."

Hamdan is survived by his parents, four sisters and an 8-year-old brother.