Four killed by Tel Aviv suicide bomb

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The Independent Online
A Palestinian suicide bomber killed two Israelis and wounded 47 yesterday when he exploded a bomb packed with nails and ball-bearings at lunchtime yesterday in a cafe in the centre of Tel Aviv. A third victim died later in hospital.

The attack comes after work started on a new Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem. The United States last night vetoed an Arab resolution at the Security Council against construction of the settlement.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, accused Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, of releasing from jail Islamic leaders known to support suicide bombings.

The bomb went off in the Apropos Coffee House, on Ben Gurion Boulevard, in the centre of Tel Aviv, at about 1.45pm. Among the injured were children wearing fancy dress to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim. It was the first suicide bomb in more than a year.

Israeli and Palestinian security officers met last night to discuss the deteriorating security situation. Israel is demanding the re-arrest of leaders of Hamas, the Islamic organisation which claimed responsibility for the attack. Mr Arafat may find it difficult to resist the demand that Hamas leaders who praised the bombing at rallies in Nablus and Khan Yunis, in Gaza, should be rearrested.

The bomber, who was blown apart by the explosion, is believed to have come from a village near Hebron which is under Israeli control. Hebron yesterday saw the worst riots on the West Bank since last September, as boys attacked Israeli soldiers with stones.

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