Tags: Hamas | Takes | Blame | for | Bomb | That | Kills

Hamas Takes Blame for Bomb That Kills 16 at Israeli Club

Tuesday, 07 May 2002 12:00 AM

A senior police officer said he believed the bomber blew himself up in the center of a club on the third floor of a building in an industrial zone. The building also included a disco, gambling hall and wedding hall.

The explosion happened as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was meeting President Bush at the White House. Bush expressed condolences and "his disgust at this wanton taking of innocent life," said National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

The blast collapsed the ceiling, trapping people in rubble, an Israeli ambulance service spokesman said. At least 57 people were reported wounded, 20 critically.

"Glass blew up. People were screaming from the windows. It was a terrible scene. People covered with blood, screaming," another witness told Israel Radio.

About two hours after the attack, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat issued a statement condemning the attack "in the strongest possible terms."

"The Palestinian Authority will take every possible action if it proves that those behind this attack had anything to do, or were coming from, Palestinian areas," said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat. "We don't condone the killing of civilians, either Palestinians or Israelis."

A Sharon spokesman, David Baker, said, "It is clear the Palestinian Authority has not given up its terror actions and has not given up its murderous path."

Israel claims to have recently foiled several attempts of suicide bombers trying to launch attacks. Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Tuesday that troops had entered the West Bank town of Tulkarim the day before and arrested two would-be homicide-suicide bombers.

The pro-Hezbollah Al Manar satellite television station reported that an anonymous source identifying himself as a member of the movement's armed wing said Hamas was guilty of the attack. That information could not be independently confirmed.

The U.S. State Department calls Hamas a terrorist organization. Its military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has claimed blame for several terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and attacks against the Israeli military.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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A senior police officer said he believed the bomber blew himself up in the center of a club on the third floor of a building in an industrial zone. The building also included a disco, gambling hall and wedding hall. The explosion happened as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel...
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2002-00-07
Tuesday, 07 May 2002 12:00 AM
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