Another bombing - Israeli settlement hit
In a second attack today, a Palestinian suicide bomber struck at the Israeli settlement Arial in the center of the occupied West Bank. At least one Israeli was killed, along with the Palestinian attacker.
Israeli police reported that the blast occurred at the entrance to the large Israeli settlement, near a gas station that is a popular spot for hitchhikers to stop cars. According to the reports, the Palestinian bomber approached a group of Israelis on foot, then ran in amongst them and set off his bomb.
The attack took place one hour after another Palestinian suicide bomber exploded inside a supermarket in the Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin. At least one Israeli was killed in this earlier attack, and several were injured.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has not declared responsibility for the attacks, but has indicated several times in the past few days that it will avenge the deaths of two of its members in an attack by the Israeli army in the West Bank.
It is unclear how the new attack will affect the current discussions on the Israeli “security fence”. A modern Berlin Wall, the fence is intended by Israel to keep Palestinian suicide bombers away from the Israeli heartland, but opponents note that it is in fact creating a permanent border before bilateral talks have determined one, and in addition keep thousands of Palestinian laborers away from their jobs in Israel.
The fence has so far roughly followed Israel’s pre-1967 border with the occupied West Bank, but Israeli settlers have demanded that it swerve into the West Bank to also incorporate the large settlement of Arial, where today’s second Palestinian attack took place. Faced with strong US pressure against the fence, the Israeli security establishment rejected this demand, but today’s event will serve to strengthen the hands of the settlers, who are putting strong pressure themselves on Arial Sharon’s government to ensure their security.
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