Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will cut short his visit to India by half a day, following the two suicide bombings Tuesday that killed 14 people, his spokesman Ra'anan Gissin said early Wednesday from New Delhi.
Sharon is likely to drop his trip to Mumbai and set out Wednesday evening for Israel, having completed his meetings with Indian leaders in New Delhi. He is due to arrive in Israel early Thursday morning, Gissin said.
"It makes no difference which of these terrorist organizations claim responsibility or whether it's a joint responsibility by several organizations," Gissin said.
"We are in an ongoing fight against terrorism. The Palestinian Authority is not discharging its responsibility."
A senior official in Sharon's delegation in New Delhi said the cabinet already had a retaliatory plan in place that would guide actions pending the prime minister's return, Haaretz reported.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Ahmed
Qurei, who has conditionally accepted the nomination for Palestinian prime minister, condemned the bombing attacks.
"We condemn all acts of killing that target innocents, whether they be Palestinians or the Israelis who were the victims of today's explosion," he said in a statement following the Jerusalem attack.
He said "such incidents confirm the necessity for both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to ... examine the most effective ways to put an end to the killing.
Earlier, Qurei condemned the suicide bombing at a bus stop outside an army base east of Tel Aviv. "We express our regrets and pain for the innocent lives [lost] as a result of violence and counter-violence," Queri said. "Such an act stresses once again the necessity that both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership... search for ways to end this killing," he added.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )