U.S. urges Israeli restraint in the wake °flan. 5 blasts.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
s Israel's government con-
sidered its response to a
deadly terror attack Jan. 5
in Tel Aviv, a possible U.S.
strike against Iraq weighed heavily in
Twenty-two people were killed and
more than 100 wounded Sunday
when two suicide bombers launched
an attack near Tel Aviv's old Central
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to
convey the condolences of President
Bush, who described the bombing as
a "despicable act of murder."
But Powell also signaled that U.S.
officials want Israel to take no action
that could threaten Arab support for
possible U.S. military strikes against
Iraq, according to Israeli media
Sharon appears likely to agree with
the U.S. concerns because he believes
a successful strike against Iraq is in
Israel's interest, according to Israel's
Channel One Television.
Their government sources also
accused the Palestinians of trying to
drag Israel into a "hysterical" reaction
that might inflame the region.
A terrorist cell from Nablus was
behind Sunday's double suicide
bombing in Tel Aviv, according to an
Israeli military intelligence official.
Briefing a Knesset committee on
Monday, the official said that cell
members — who belonged to the Al-
Aksa Brigade, the military wing of
Palestinian Authority leader Yasser
Arafat's Fatah movement — also were
responsible for a recent series of dead-
ly terror attacks.
By Monday, Israeli officials had
identified 18 of the 22 victims of
Sunday's bombing. The officials
released the names of 15 victims, 11
of whom were Israelis and four of
whom were foreign workers.
The Israelis were identified as
Andrei Friedman, 30, of Tel Aviv;
Meir Haim, 74, of Azor; Hannah
Haimov, 53, of Tel Aviv; Avi Kotzer,
43, of Bat Yam; Ramin Nasibov, 25,
of Tel Aviv; Staff Sgt. Mazal Orkobi,
people were injured in the
Commentators in Israel
and abroad noted that the
relatively mild response to
the bombing was an attempt
to avoid a further escalation
of violence before a possible
U.S. strike on Iraq.
Reacting to the attack on
Sunday; Sharon told a group
of young people visiting as
part of the Birthright Israel
program that there could be
no peace talks with the
Palestinians as long as terror-
ist attacks continue.
"We see again today the
severe nature of the things
that the State of Israel is fac-
ing. Our goal is to stop the
The bombing was the
brutal terror and to achieve
deadliest attack on
calm and quiet. Only when
Israel since a Palestinian
the brutal terror is stopped,
terrorist bombed a
only then we will be able to
Passover seder in
talk peace," he said.
Netanya last March,
"All attempts to reach a
killing 29 people.
even today are fail-
That attack prompted
Israel to launch
leadership that continues to
support, fund and initiate
Wall, a large-scale anti-
terror. The answer to what
terror operation in the
we see here in Tel Aviv" is
aliyah, he added.
By comparison, the
The father of Mazal Orkabi who was killed on Sunday by a
Earlier, before the terrorists
response to Sunday's
Palestinian suicide bomber kisses his daughter's coffin during her-
Sharon lashed out at
attack was muted. On
funeral at Holon on Monday.
his main rival in the Jan. 28
Monday, Israel barred
general elections, accusing
Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna of
the Palestinian ,leadership does so, it
from attending a conference in
"inexperience" and of advocating poli-
London. The delegates were to discuss must be given no quarter and no
toward the Palestinians that
legitimacy in the free world."
reforms in the Palestinian Authority,
endanger the state.
which the United States has demand-
Sharon said Israelis would recognize
assassinations of suspected terrorists,
ed as a first step toward the establish-
Mitzna's policies as a continuation of
according to government spokesman
ment of an independent Palestinian
the "irresponsible plan" of former
Prime Minister Ehud Barak, adding
In a meeting late Sunday night,
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
that it would be a "drastic mistake" to
Israel's Security Cabinet also decided
phoned his Israeli counterpart,
return to that plan.
Binyamin Netanyahu to ask that
Israel reconsider the decision.
first draft of a Palestinian constitu-
Netanyahu said Britain was busy
tion. In addition, Israel also will shut
allowing terrorists to attend the con-
Mitzna rejected Sharon's attempt to
down three Palestinian colleges and
ference instead of fighting terror.
portray him as soft toward the
universities that incite terrorism.
"The Palestinian leadership does
But the response wasn't only diplo-
not need to meet abroad to close
"At this difficult hour, my heart is
down suicide kindergarten camps, to
the families and with the
stop incitement to murder and to
wounded," Mitzna said after Sunday's
shops in the Gaza Strip that the army
fight terrorism," Netanyahu said.
bombings. "I am determined to
said were being used to produce
"This they can do in Ramallah and
change Israel's security policy, to hit
weapons. Palestinian sources said five
Gaza — right here, right now. Until
20, of Azor; Victor
Shobayev, 62, of Holon;
Boris Tepelshvili, 51, of
Yehud; Sapira Shoshana
Yulzari-Yaffe, 46, of Bat
Yam; Lilia Zibstein, 33,
of Haifa; and Amiram
Zamoura, 55, of Holon.
The foreign workers
were identified as
Steven Cromwell, of
Ghana; Nicolai Ion, 35,
of Romania; Anglov-
Kosamov, 33, of
Bulgaria; and Sabao
Miahai, 39, of