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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Suicide attack in Tel Aviv financed by Teheran - planned in Syria - same day as Ahmadinejab's visit to Assad for' terror summit'

Suicide attack in Tel Aviv financed by Teheran - planned in Syria - same day as Ahmadinejab's visit to Assad for' terror summit'

January 20, 2006

January 20, 2006

Iran president meets Palestinian militants in Syria

By Suleiman al-Khalidi


DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a visit to regional ally Syria, pledged support to militant Palestinian factions at a meeting with their leaders in Damascus on Friday, a Palestinian group said.

The talks came a few hours after Israel's defence minister accused Iran and Syria of being directly responsible for Thursday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv which wounded 30 people.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad weeps at a Shi'ite Muslin shrine near Damascus, January 20, 2006 on the last day of the Iranian leader's visit to Syria. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri)
"The Iranian president stressed that Iran strongly stands behind the Palestinian people and their just struggle," Maher al-Taher, senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Reuters.

"He said the Palestinian people will be victorious as a result of their steadfastness, sacrifices and heroism."

Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reiterated after talks on Thursday that they backed the right of the Palestinians and Lebanese to resist Israeli occupation.

Israel's Haaretz daily reported that Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said Israeli authorities had "decisive proof that the attack in Tel Aviv was a direct result of the Axis of Terror that operates between Iran and Syria".


Mofaz was also quoted as saying that Iran had funded the attack while the operational orders to the suicide bomber, who came from the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, were issued at the Islamic Jihad headquarters in Damascus.

Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Mofaz as saying that Ahmadinejad was holding a "terrorism summit" with his host, Assad.

Islamic Jihad, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, claimed responsibility for the Tel Aviv bombing, the first in the Jewish state since an 11-month truce expired at the end of last year.

Taher said Islamic Jihad leader Abdallah Ramadan Shallah was among those who attended the 90-minute meeting with Ahmadinejad. Also present was Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Ahmed Jibril, leader of the PFLP-GC pro-Syrian faction.

"We discussed the issue of pressure against Syria, Iran and Lebanon and confirmed the need to form a front that groups all the forces that opposes the Zionist-American schemes in the region," Taher said.

Both regional allies Syria and Iran are facing prospects of showdowns with the U.N. Security Council -- Damascus over limited cooperation with an inquiry into the killing of a Lebanese ex-prime minister and Tehran over its attempts to produce nuclear power.

Ahmadinejad has caused an international furore by calling for Israel to be wiped out and describing the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed, as a myth.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4630650.stm Israel attacks 'axis of terror'

Police inspect the scene of the explosion The force of the blast blew out windows and damaged parked cars
Israel has accused Iran and Syria of complicity in a suicide attack that injured at least 30 people in Tel Aviv.

It "was financed by Tehran, planned in Syria and carried out by Palestinians," Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted by security officials as saying.

Mr Mofaz was also quoted as blaming the attack on "the axis of terror that operates between Iran and Syria".

Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad earlier said it carried out the attack near Tel Aviv's old bus station.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the US have condemned the bombing.

It was the first bomb attack in Tel Aviv since February last year.

SUICIDE ATTACKS IN ISRAEL 19 Jan: 30 injured, Tel Aviv 5 Dec 2005: Five die, Netanya 26 Oct: Six die, Hadera market 28 Aug: 20 hurt, Beersheba 12 July: Two die, Netanya 25 Feb: Five die, 50 hurt, outside Tel Aviv nightclub

Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Mr Mofaz as saying that Israel had "decisive proof" the Tel Aviv attack could be blamed on the "axis of terror".

"Iran supplied the money, and [Islamic] Jihad's headquarters in Damascus directed the organisation's operatives in Nablus, giving operational orders and instructions," Mr Mofaz reportedly said.

Israel's Army Radio said the minister had shared the evidence with officials in the US, Europe and Egypt.

A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad's military wing - al-Quds Brigades - earlier named the bomber as 22-year-old Sami Abd al-Hafiz Antar, from the West Bank town of Nablus.

A top official in the Israeli foreign ministry, Gideon Meir, said on Thursday the attack highlighted the consequences of the Palestinian government's failure to disarm militant groups.

Mr Abbas said the bombing was meant to derail the Palestinian legislative elections on Wednesday, which Islamic Jihad is boycotting.

"This is sabotage and aimed at sabotaging the elections, not only the elections, but also the security of Palestinians. The culprits must be punished." the Palestinian leader said.

'Swayed strangely'

The attack took place at about 1530 (1330 GMT) on Solomon Street in Tel Aviv's commercial district.


"The guy was standing at the corner of the street, looking like he was waiting for someone," Yehiel Ohana told the Associated Press news agency.

"He swayed strangely. Then he went into the shwarma (food) stand, and two to three seconds later, we heard the explosion. Everything shuddered," he said.

"We entered the shwarma stand, and we saw him lying on the floor, and then we understood he was a suicide bomber."

The bombing took place on the same day as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began two-day talks with Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, in what Mr Mofaz described as a "terror summit".

It was the first suicide attack in Israel since 5 December, when five Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber outside a shopping centre in Netanya.

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