Nine dead over 66 wounded in Tel Aviv suicide bombing - Hamas calls slaughter 'self defense'
April 17, 2006
Eight Dead and 50 Wounded in Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing
Monday, April 17, 2006
An Arab suicide bomber, detonated a large explosive at a Tel Aviv fast food stand in the Neveh Sha'anan neighborhood Monday afternoon, killing at least eight civilians.
At least 50 persons were wounded, with 15 sustaining moderate to severe injuries. The wounded have been evacuated to local hospitals, among them, Ichilov, Beilinson, Wolfson, and Tel Hashomer.
Of those seriously injured, at least five are reported to be in critical condition.
An eye-witness at the scene, Rafi Hayun, told Israel Radio that the terrorist was a female. He estimated that five persons, aside from the terrorist, were killed in the attack. That figure has since been confirmed by official sources. The identity of the terrorist has not been confirmed.
Police are investigating how the terrorist reached the Tel Aviv destination and whether any assistance was received by other terrorists still in the vicinity.
The Islamic Jihad terror group and the Al Aksa Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah party, have claimed responsibility for the attack. Fatah is the party of PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) leader Mahmoud Abbas, and his predecessor, PLO terrorist chieftain Yassir Arafat.
In 1993, Israel signed the Oslo Accords and ceded control of heavily populated Arab areas to the Palestinian Authority. When the accords were signed, the PLO and its largest component, Fatah, pledged in writing to refrain from carrying out terrorist attacks or from using violence of any kind against Israel.
The Al Aksa Brigades and the Islamic Jihad have been cooperating extensively to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel, especially since Hamas won a pivotal parliamentary election in the Palestinian Authority last January.
The fast food felafel stand, "Rosh Ha-Ir," in the vicinity of Tel Aviv's former central bus station, was the site of a terrorist attack three months ago. Thrity-two people were injured in that attack which was also carried out by the Islamic Jihad.
Following Monday's latest attack, Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi, put the nation on maximum alert, out of concern that the inauguration of the 17th Knesset, scheduled for 4:00 this afternoon will serve as a pretext for more attacks.
As of Monday afternoon, Israel's security apparatus was faced with the threat of 19 specific terrorist attacks, warning of an impending attack at a specific time and place. Eighty more general threats of attack have been reported to Israel's intelligence agencies.
Karadi noted that the police had no specific warning of the impending terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.
According to latest reports, a blue Mitsubishi, suspected of being the vehicle that transported the suicide bomber to his target in Tel Aviv, has been stopped by the IDF at the Ofir roadblock on Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway 443, near Ramallah in the Binyamin area. A number of persons in the car have been arrested and are being questioned by security agencies.
Bomb attack on Tel Aviv shoppers
Ehud Olmert, Israel's acting prime minister, has said he held the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority responsible for a suicide attack on a Tel Aviv sandwich bar which killed 10 people and injured 60.
Mr Olmert said: "We will know how to respond in the way and manner required, and we will continue to act with all means at our disposal to thwart further such incidents."
A spokesman for Hamas defended the attack, calling it "a natural result of the continued Israeli crimes against our people."
"The Israeli occupation bears responsibility for the continuation of its aggression," he said. "Our people are in a state of self-defence and they have every right to use all means to defend themselves."
But Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine's president, condemned the bombing, urging the international community "to stop the grave deterioration that the region is witnessing now."
The bomb exploded near Tel Aviv's central bus station in the Neve Shaanan neighborhood in the middle of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover.
Two Palestinian militant groups separately claimed responsibility for the attack.
An Arab television station aired a video tape showing a militant from Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian radical group, who said he carried out the attack.
"There are more martyrdom-seekers (suicide bombers), God willing," said the young man, who identified himself as a "son of the Quds Brigades" the military wing of Islamic Jihad.
Earlier a member of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestine's Fatah faction, said it had carried out the attack to avenge "Israeli massacres committed against our people in Gaza".
MIM: A list of suicide bombings in Israel over the past year
(Updates tolls, details)
April 17 (Reuters) - A Palestinian suicide bomber killed eight people in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Monday.
Here is a short chronology of major suicide bombings in Israel in the last year. Death tolls do not include the bombers.
Feb 25 - A suicide bomber kills five Israelis and wounds about 50 people outside the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.
July 12 - A Palestinian blows himself up at an Israeli shopping mall in Netanya, killing five and wounding at least 30. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.
Aug 28 - A suicide bomber blows himself up at the entrance to Beersheba's central bus station, wounding at least 40.
Oct 26 - A Palestinian blows himself up in the main market at Hadera. Six people die and more than 30 are wounded.
Dec 5 - A suicide bomber blows himself up at the entrance to the Sharon shopping mall in Netanya, killing five and wounding at least 40. Islamic Jihad's Jerusalem Brigades claimed responsibility.
Dec 29 - An Israeli soldier and two Palestinian bystanders are killed in a suicide bombing in Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.
Jan 19 - Palestinian suicide bomber blows himself up at a sandwich stand near Tel Aviv's old central bus station, wounding 30 people. Islamic Jihad claim the bombing.
March 30 - A Palestinian suicide bomber kills four Israelis near the West Bank settlement of Kedumim. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades later claimed responsibility.
April 17 - A Palestinian suicide bomber kills eight people at a sandwich stand near Tel Aviv's old central bus station. Around 60 people are wounded. Both Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claim responsibility.