Israeli helicopters hit targets in Gaza Strip following Jerusalem suicide bombing attack
Israeli helicopters fired at least five missiles at targets in Gaza City and the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Wednesday after seven people were killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem, witnesses said.
The helicopters hit a metal works foundry in Khan Younis,
witnesses said. One man was moderately injured, hospital sources said.
Earlier, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Jerusalem at around 7:10 P.M. (GMT 4:10 P.M.). At least six people were killed and about 40 were injured, Israel Radio reported. "Unfortunately there are several dead people," Jerusalem police chief Mickey Levy told Israel's Channel One television.
Israel's Channel Two television reported that the bomber arrived in a car, got out, sprinted toward the hitch-hiking post and immediately blew himself up. The television also said that two Border Police officers in the area tried to stop the bomber, but could not reach him in time.
Levy said that one of the officers was in serious condition.
The explosion took place at a bus stop in French Hill, a northern suburb of the city. It follows the deaths of 19 people on Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives on a bus.
"The Palestinian wave of terror continues to be unleashed against Israel's civilian population," said David Baker, a spokesman in the office of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"We will of course take whatever action necessary in order to continue to protect the citizens of Israel," Israeli government spokesman Arieh Mekel said. "We hold the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Yasser Arafat, responsible for all this."
Hizbullah's television station, Al Manar said that the attack was carried out by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
The station said it received a statement, saying the bombing was in response to Israeli attacks on Palestinian territory and assassination of Palestinian activists.
"Zionists, leave this land. We will not stop our operations as long as there remains an occupier on our land," the statement said.
For his part, Palestinian Labour Minister Ghassan al-Khatib declined to condemn the attack but added: "The attack is another example that violence begets violence."
The Palestinian Authority, however, condemned "in the strongest terms possible" on Wednesday two Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli targets and called for international help to try to stem violence against civilians.
"Yesterday and today there were two grave attacks against Israeli civilians. These attacks are condemned in the strongest terms possible," the statement said.
"The Palestinian leadership condemns the Jerusalem attack and urges the dispatch of international monitors to strengthen the ceasefire and stop bloodshed of Palestinian and Israeli civilians." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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