Tags: Bomber | Kills | Wounds | Netanya

Bomber Kills 3, Wounds 60 in Netanya

Monday, 20 May 2002 12:00 AM

Both the Marxist Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Islamist hard-liners Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Situated some 10 miles from the Palestinian West Bank city of Tulkarim, the seaside town of Netanya has been a frequent target of Palestinian bombings.

The Palestinian Authority immediately condemned the bombing, calling upon "all political, social and economic bodies as well as armed groups to condemn such terrorist attacks which endanger our national interest," according to a statement carried by the official Wafa news agency.

The Authority warned that "such terrorist attacks will destroy the dream of the Palestinian people to have their independent state and will never serve their just cause."

Netanya was the site of the attack that precipitated the Israeli military incursion into the West Bank and its destruction of the Palestinian Authority’s infrastructure.

The March 27 attack at the Park Hotel, known as the Passover bombing, killed 29 people.

The massive Israeli operation -- in which some 2,000 Palestinians have been detained -- has damaged, but not destroyed, Palestinian militants' infrastructure for attacks. It also has fueled Palestinian anger.

Police Inspector General Shlomo Aharonishky told reporters, "With the infrastructure that exists there, and the reality in which we find ourselves, one must assume there will be more attacks."

"Anyone who thought the Palestinian campaign of terror has been suspended is mistaken," David Baker, an official at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office, told United Press International.

The Israeli intelligence was said to have heard of the planned attack about an hour before it was launched. An alert was out, but apparently it was too late to stop the attack.

Israeli troops went to the Palestinian villages of Shweika and Artah, near Tulkarim, entered them five minutes after the bombing and arrested some 40 people, a military source said.

The source said the troops later left the villages and denied Palestinian reports that soldiers, tanks, and armored vehicles had entered Tulkarim.

Tulkarim governor Iz el Dein al Sharif told reporters that the Israeli army had occupied the town -- as well as Shweika and Artah -- and imposed a curfew.

Tulkarim residents said they could hear intense shooting in several neighborhoods.

No casualties have yet been reported on either side.

Urging the international community to help the two parties implement a cease-fire agreement and resume the peace process as quickly as possible, the Palestinian Authority Sunday called on Israel "to stop thinking about the military solution as the only solution for the conflict.”

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Both the Marxist Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Islamist hard-liners Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. Situated some 10 miles from the Palestinian West Bank city of Tulkarim, the seaside town of Netanya has been a frequent...
Bomber,Kills,Wounds,Netanya
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2002-00-20
Monday, 20 May 2002 12:00 AM
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