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August 22, 2003 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Bank and Gaza Strip, rolling back
steps that had eased movement for
Palestinian civilians as a way to dis-
courage support for terrorism.
Amid Israeli and American
demands for serious moves against
terror, Abbas suspended contacts
with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both
of which claimed responsibility for
the bombing.
Abbas, who vehemently con-
demned the bombing, reportedly
ordered P.A. security services to
arrest those responsible.
Israel is expected to intensify its
hunt for terrorists if P.A. forces do
not take action, but a major military
operation like last year's two major
West Bank offensives is not being
considered, Israeli officials said.
The bombing took place shortly
after 9 p.m. on an extended "accor-
dion" bus traveling along Shmuel
HaNavi St. The bus was on its way
from the Western Wall to the
Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood
when it exploded.
Jerusalem Police Commander
Mickey Levy said the bomb was par-
ticularly powerful and caused excep-
tional damage.,
The bomber acted as Abbas was
meeting in Gaza with heads of
Islamic organizations trying to sal-
vage the cease-fire that Palestinian
terrorist groups declared in late
Moments later, Islamic Jihad took
responsibility for the attack, saying
the bomber was from Hebron. The
group had threatened to avenge
Israel's killing last week of its local
leader in Hebron.
Later, h9wever, Hamas also sought
to claim responsibility for the blast,
saying it was revenge for the killing
of a Hamas activist several months
ago. Hamas identified the bomber
as Raed Abdel-Hamed Mesk, 29, a
mosque preacher from Hebron.
"Every time Israel has made a ges-
ture of peace to the Palestinians over
the past 10 years the response has
been the murder of our men,
women and children. This has to
stop," said Daniel Seaman, head of
Israel's Government Press Office. "It
must be realized that this is not an
Arab-Israeli issue but rather an
international campaign of terror,
which is ongoing from New York
and Baghdad to Moscow and


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— Jewish Telegraphic Agency
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