Fatah, Hamas claim attacks
At least two Israelis were killed Tuesday morning in two seperate suicide bombings. In one incident, one Israeli was killed and two people seriously wounded in a blast near the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
Hamas said one of its activists carried out the Ariel attack, claimed that it was revenge for last week's Israeli raid in Nablus, in which two top Hamas figures and an Israeli soldier were killed.
This explosion took place about an hour after a suicide bombing killed at least one person and wounded more than 10, four of them seriously, at the entrance to a shopping center, located in the Israeli town of Rosh Ha'ayin.
A Palestinian suicide bomber set off the explosive device strapped to his body when he saw three young Israelis at a bus stop on the road heading from Ariel settlement toward Tel Aviv, Israel Radio reported. One Israeli and the bomber were killed, and two people were seriously wounded.
At Rosh Ha'ayin, close to the West Bank border, a suicide bomber activated an explosive device strapped to his body at the entrance to a pharmacy. Police said the blast was small, but it led to a fire that burned down several stores.
Police found two corpses inside the shopping center, that of an Israeli and the suicide bomber. Four people suffered serious injuries.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for this attack, naming the bomber as Islam Yousef Qteishat, 17.
"The terror attack in Rosh Ha'ayin emphasizes the need for the PA to once and for all take immediate steps to dismantle the terror infrastructure," David Baker, an official at the Prime Minister's Office, said Tuesday.
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that for the peace process to continue, Palestinian "terror" must "stop completely" and the Palestinian Authority must fulfill all its commitments.
On his part, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attacks and denounced the almost daily Israeli raids in Palestinian areas, which he said provoked the bombings.
Ismail Hanieh, a spokesman for Hamas, said his group was still committed to the cease-fire. "We cannot pinpoint who stands behind this operation," he said. But, he added, "this
situation was born as a result of Israel's refusal to commit to the Palestinian truce."
Islamic Jihad spokesman Mohammed al-Hindi commented "We don't know who stands behind these operations." He said the group remained committed to the cease-fire. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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