Fifth suicide bombing in two days kills at least four

Body found on Tel Aviv beach was British 'bomber'
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The Independent Online

A suicide bomber killed at least four people and wounded 20 in an Israeli shopping centre, in the fifth bombing in two days.

The blast went off at the Shaarei Amakim mall in the northern city of Afula,near one of the entrances where shoppers were waiting for a security check. The area police chief said the bomber appeared to be a woman.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The Islamic militant Hamas has carried out for four bombings over the weekend, including a Jerusalem bus attack that killed seven Israelis.

David Baker, a spokesman in the Israeli prime minister's office, said that the attack "is another bloody chapter in the Palestinian history of carnage and terror."

A body found on a beach in Israel was identified by forensic scientists today as that of a British man suspected of being an accomplice to a suicide bomber.

The body of Omar Sharif was found in the capital Tel Aviv after fellow Briton, Asif Hanif, 21, blew himself blew himself up outside a bar, killing three people.

Sharif's suicide bomb failed to explode, Israeli authorities said, and he fled the scene, sparking a police hunt.

His body was found shortly afterwards, washed up on a beach in the city.

Dr Yehuda Hiss, head of Israel's Forensics Institute, said that DNA provided by British detectives had allowed scientists to identify Sharif, aged 27, from Derby.

Meanwhile, in the fourth Hamas suicide bombing in two days, a Palestinian riding a bicycle detonated a bomb near an Israeli jeep in the Gaza Strip today, killing himself and slightly injuring three soldiers.

Hamas said it had no intention of halting attacks, despite Egypt's ongoing efforts to have Palestinian militant groups agree to a one–year suspension of shootings and bombings. The armed groups have said they might agree to a truce if Israel promises to stop hunting militants – a proposal Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has rejected.

In today's bombing, a 19–year–old Palestinian rode a bicycle toward an Israeli army jeep near the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in Gaza. When he got close, he detonated a 66lb bomb strapped to his body. Hamas sources identified the bomber as Shadi Nabaheen from the nearby Bureij refugee camp.

About an hour after the bombing, Palestinians fired on an Israeli convoy of civilian cars escorted by jeeps near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim. There were no injuries, but the bus was damaged, the army said.

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