Suicide bomber strikes Israeli coastal town

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Map of Israel with Hadera

Israeli police confirmed that a suicide bomber was responsible for a blast that killed five people and left many seriously injured. The Wednesday afternoon attack occurred in an open market place in the small costal Israeli town of Hadera, a location which has been a frequent target of attacks in the five-year-old Palestinian uprising.

The market place was busy with shoppers in advance of a Jewish Holiday, with many stocking up for the weekend.

CNN reporters on the scene say 20 have been injured, 6 are critical, 7 are serious, and the death toll is expected to rise. Television pictures are showing a scene of absolute devastation and confusion.

Islamic Jihad of Gaza has claimed responsibility, which was in response to an Israeli killing of Islamic Jihad commander Luay Saadi in the West Bank on Monday, prompting armed groups to take revenge. In an interview with Ynet news, Abu-Muaman the Organization's leader stated ... "This attack is merely a preliminary response by the Palestinian rebellious groups, and harder retaliation is on its way."

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator, denounced the attack and said that he hoped the peace between the two sides would not be damaged.

Dr Ra'anan Gissin spokesperson for the Israeli PM, speaking on CNN is refuting claims that this is a revenge attack, claiming "that this is just another terrorist attack in the Palestinians' plan to rid the Middle East of Israeli."

Khader Habib, a spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad said that ... "The Islamic Jihad movement was committed to the truce, and is still committed to the truce, but this truce should be mutual. We cannot tolerate a one-sided truce."

The recently elected Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "eradicated from the map" and condoned the recent wave of Palestinian attacks in his speech today during a conference in Teheran titled "The World without Zionism." Mahmoud Abbas has stated that the Palestinian Authority would "increase its efforts to ensure the continuation of the truce because it is in the interest of both the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples."

Mark Regev, a spokesperson for the Israeli foreign minsitry responded that "[Abbas] says the right thing... But if we have a criticism it's that he talks the right talk, we're waiting for him to follow through on these commitments. Now there have been some steps taken but we really need to see a serious disarming of these extremist groups."