A suicide bomber blew himself up in the southern Israeli town of Dimona on Monday, killing an Israeli woman, medical sources said. At least seven other people were injured in the attack.
Israeli reports said that there were two bombers, although only one managed to detonate his explosives belt; the other was shot in the head by an Israeli police officer before he could blow himself up.
A Fatah sources said the "Army of Palestine" wing of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades carried out the attack along with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Fatah sources were quoted as saying that 2008 would be a year of suicide attacks. A spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Brigades told AFP the bombers came from Gaza Strip, while a statement from the group said they had left for their mission from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
However, the two bombers were identified as residents of the Gaza Strip. One of them was identified as Luay Laghwan. The other bomber was named as Musa Arafat, 23.
In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said the attack was justified. He also rejected suggestions that the bombing would hurt Hamas' chances of reopening the border with Egypt. "The suicide bombings were there before the closures and the resistance used every opportunity to make these glorious acts," he said. "They show the Palestinians can respond to the enemy and their crimes."
The Islamic Jihad hailed the attack as a blow against "Israeli occupation."
Dimona is the site of Israel's nuclear reactor. However, Israeli government officials dismissed the notion that the reactor was the suicide attackers' target. The explosion took place in a shopping area about six miles from the reactor site.
According to the AP, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said, "the terror organizations have shown again who they are and what they are." "Their goal was and continues to be to kill Israeli citizens in their homes and their schools and in their shopping centers," he added. "Israel will continue to fight against this murderous terror."