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Nine Dead and 66 Wounded in Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing

Arutz Sheva 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 nine civilians.

At least 66 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.

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 they carried out the attack. Fatah is the party of PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) leader Mahmoud Abbas, and his predecessor, PLO terrorist chieftain Yassir Arafat. The bomber has been identified as 16-year-old Sami Salim Hamad of the Jenin area.

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 19 specific terrorist threats, 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 Monday’s 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 Ofer 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.

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