Another Car Bomb Explodes in Jerusalem

Published May 27th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

A car bomb exploded Sunday morning in downtown Jerusalem, close to where a booby-trapped car exploded at midnight Saturday in Jerusalem's Russian Compound, said reports. 

Al Jazeera satellite channel’s correspondent said that seven people were treated for shock. 

He quoted Israeli security officials as saying that they feared there was a third booby-trapped car in the area.  

The bomb exploded at the corner of Jaffa Street and Heshin Street, it said.  

Overnight, a booby-trapped car exploded in a parking lot adjacent to the central police station in the Russian Compound in downtown Jerusalem around midnight Saturday. Police said there were no injuries, reported Haaretz. 

Two Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for the bomb blast.  

Palestinian Hizbollah claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to Al Jazeera satellite channel.  

Also, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said it carried out the attack, reported Israel Radio, cited by Haaretz newspaper. 

The explosion occurred some 20 meters from the main Jerusalem police station and about 50 meters from a stretch of discos and pubs, which were packed with hundreds of young people Saturday night. The Russian Orthodox cathedral is also located in the compound.  

Jerusalem Police Chief Miki Levi was quoted by the paper as saying the explosive device was large and powerful and he termed the attack an "escalation." Levi added that he thought the bomber's intention "was to carry out a terrorist attack in Mombaz street which is full of discos and young people out for a good time."  

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, who was attending a meeting in the municipal building about 100 meters from the site of the bombing, said there had been no "specific warnings" of an attack.  

 

ISRAELI ARMY CLAIMS PALESTINIANS SHOT AT ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN WEST BANK 

 

The Israeli army claimed overnight that shots were fired and anti-tank grenades were hurled at an Israeli army outpost in the West Bank settlement of Gadid. No injuries were reported, said radio, cited by Haaretz. 

Shots were also fired at Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the village of Beit Rima, north of Ramallah.  

 

SHADOW OVER US SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY 

 

The recent wave of bloodshed cast a shadow over new US shuttle diplomacy on Sunday aimed at pressuring Israelis and Palestinians to halt eight months of bloodshed, reported Reuters. 

William Burns, the new US envoy for the Middle East, was due to meet Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at 8:30 GMT in the West Bank city of Ramallah, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at 12:30 GMT in Jerusalem, said the agency. 

Israeli and Palestinian officials said they did not expect an immediate breakthrough from the latest round of US-led diplomacy. Statements by the sides on the eve of the meetings offered little hope they were closer to ending hostilities. 

Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Sharon, said the ball was now "in the Palestinian court" and it remained to be seen whether Arafat would implement recommendations made by the US-led Mitchell Commission to curb the violence. 

The Mitchell report calls for an immediate end to fighting followed by confidence-building steps including a freeze on Jewish settlements and Palestinian steps to rein in militants. 

Palestinians demand a halt to all settlement building on occupied land, which is considered a violation of international law.  

Sharon has pledged that no new land will be confiscated but says construction will continue within existing settlements. 

During his visit, Burns, assistant secretary of state-designate for Near Eastern affairs, will seek to work out a plan for implementing recommendations by the international commission led by former US senator George Mitchell, added Reuters. 

 

HAMAS, JIHAD VOW NEW STRIKES AGAINST ISRAEL  

 

The Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad vowed Saturday to launch "new strikes against Israel," while the PA accused Israel of "assassinating" a Fateh activist Friday near Nablus.  

The two movements vowed Saturday to launch new strikes against the Jewish state, reported Al Jazeera satellite channel.  

The movements' warning came as hundreds attended the funeral of a Palestinian who was killed Friday when a booby-trapped truck exploded in Gaza.  

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack that exploded in the Gaza Strip early Friday without causing injuries.  

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed that a blast had taken place, but did not know about injuries.  

Israel Radio said no one was hurt, and that the circumstances were unclear.  

Hamas said in a statement that the bomber, Hussein Abu Nassr, was killed in the attack, which took place at Martyrs Junction (known to Israelis as Netzarim) - Albawaba.com  

 

 

 

 

 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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