Islamic Jihad claims Monday night suicide bombing attack in Israel
The Islamic Jihad on Tuesday claimed responsibility for Monday night's explosion at a home in an Israeli farm community near the city of Netanya.
The group threatened more attacks if Israel does not meet its demand for a mass release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. "Release the prisoners or the consequences will be grave," the group said in a leaflet faxed to The Associated Press.
The group identified the bomber as 22-year-old Ahmed Yehyia from the village of Kufr Rai in the northern West Bank.
One Israeli woman was killed and her three grandchildren injured. Israel's police issued an official statement earlier Tuesday concluding that the blast was the result of a suicide bombing attack, and not of a gas leak as initially believed.
A switch, probably used to detonate the bomb, and parts of a bomb, were found at the scene, the police said, according to Haaretz. The remains of an unidentified young man, apparently the bomber, were also found in the wreckage of the house.
The blast was the first suicide bombing carried out since Palestinian groups declared a truce with Israel.
Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, asked if the attack spelled the end of the hudna or simply an isolated incident, said Tuesday, "This demonstrates, more than anything, the need for the Palestinians to fulfil their obligation that they undertook under the road map, to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure."
Speaking to Army radio, Shalom noted that Israel "receives an answer every time, that this is simply a group or a gang that is unwilling to accept the (truce). Perhaps this attack was considered not a huge attack, but tomorrow this same gang could carry out an attack with 20 killed, and at that moment, this process would end."
Before the Islamic Jihad's declaration, Hamas spokesman in Gaza - Mahmoud al Zahhar - declined to comment specifically on the explosion, but he told Al Bawaba that the issue is ‘unclear’ yet. He said, “We are not sure whether this has happened as a result of a military operation or an explosion of a gas cylinder.”
On the other hand, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - Jamil Majdalawi - blamed Israel for what happened, which he described as continuing its [Israel’s] attacks (and assassinations) against Palestinians despite their acceptance of the truce. “The Israeli enemy has not yet halted its military operations as it has recently assassinated a leader from the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Qalqilia, and has also arrested more than 550 Palestinian after agreeing to the truce,” said Majdalawi.
The PFLP leader warned against Israeli attempts to create divisions amongst the Palestinian factions by classifying the Palestinian prisoners, referring to the Israeli government’s criteria announced Sunday, which excluded members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP from any planned release of detainees. “The various Palestinian groups showed responsibility and have thwarted the Israeli bid to transfer the Palestinian Israeli conflict to the Palestinian areas” he said.
“This means that they are trying to undermine one of the basic principles all the Palestinians agreed to…which is the issue of the prisoners. The Palestinians, regardless of their organizational loyalties, cannot accept things Israel wants to see imposed on us,” he added. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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