Three Israeli soldiers were wounded Monday morning after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up near an Israeli military jeep in the Gaza Strip.
The military wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for this attack, identifying the assailant as 19-year-old Shadi Nabaheen from the Boureij refugee camp. "We will not stop our resistance as long as one Zionist continues to breathe our air," said Hamas in its statement.
The Israeli army demolished the home of the Hebron bomber Monday in what it called "a message to suicide terrorists and their partners in terror."
The Israeli authorities decided Sunday to impose a "general closure" on the West Bank, tightening restrictions on Palestinians entering the Jewish state after a suicide bomber killed seven people in Jerusalem, the army said.
"In the framework of the closure, Palestinians will not be allowed to exit and enter the territory of the state of Israel," the army said in a brief statement issued hours after the suicide attack on a Jerusalem bus.
It has long imposed blockades on Palestinian cities, towns and villages and has restricted entry into Israel since the start of a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation in September 2000.
Israel radio said the statement meant Palestinians who have been able until now to continue to work in Israel would be barred from doing so.
Hamas said on its Web Site that it carried out the attack in Jerusalem's French Hill district on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon convened a special cabinet meeting Sunday evening to discuss the latest wave of suicide bombings. During the meeting, Sharon rejected calls from some ministers to deport Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. "This issue is not even on the agenda," Sharon told his ministers, according to Israel Public TV.
At the end of the meeting Sharon said that he would continue to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). "Israel will continue to foil any murder attempt against it citizens until we see that there is someone on the other side that can do it," Sharon said.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )