OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Three Israelis were killed on Monday, January 29, when a Palestinian blew himself up in a bakery in Israel\’s Red Sea resort of Eilat, the first such attack inside Israeli in nine months.
"After examining the site of the explosion a connection was found between the explosives and one of the bodies and we now believe the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber," Israeli National Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Police had earlier said that the blast, which ripped through a bakery in a small shopping center in Eilat, had been an accident.
"We know so far of three people killed in the explosion and several others injured," a paramedic from the Magen David Adom medical services at the site of the explosion told AFP.
"We are still searching the site for other bodies," he said. "The explosion was massive and the whole place is wrecked."
Islamic Jihad\’s Saraya al-Quds, Fatah\’s Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the previously unknown Army of Believers claimed joint responsibility for the attack.
Monday\’s attack is the first in Eliat, a dive resort which lies at the southern-most tip of Israel on the border with Egypt and Jordan.
The last bombing inside Israel occurred on April 17, 2006, in Tel Aviv, killing nine people. It was claimed by Islamic Jihad.
Monday\’s attack comes against deadly Palestinian infighting despite a Saudi offer to host talks between rival Fatah and Hamas.
Five Palestinians were killed in clashes between gunmen from the two groups early Monday and Sunday overnight.
Three people were killed in gun battles in the southern town of Khan Yunis, said medics.
Two more people were gunned down in factional clashes in Gaza City.
The new fatalities brought to thirty Palestinians, including children, who have been killed since Thursday, according to medics.
Among the victims were an 11-year-old boy snared in the crossfire Saturday night and a two-year-old child killed by a stray bullet during a firefight in Khan Yunis on Friday.
The fighting came despite a Saudi offer for rival Hamas and Fatah to come together in the holy city of Makkah to settle their bloody power struggle.
The initiative was welcomed by both groups but no date for the meeting has yet been announced.
Egypt has also tabled a five-point overture to halt the bloodletting in the Palestinian territories.
It calls for withdrawal of gunmen from the streets, release of the abductees, removing barricades, ending tensions and giving the Palestinian police the authority to investigate security problems.
The rival groups are blaming each other for provoking the violence, which is only exacerbating the woes of Palestinians already suffering a crippling economic crisis because of a Western aid freeze.
Tensions had flared between the rival factions after President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to call snap presidential and legislative elections.
Hamas, which won a resounding election victory exactly one year ago and has struggled to govern since then in the face of international isolation, denounced the call as a "coup d\’etat".
The dueling factions have tried for months to work out a power-sharing agreement to draw a line under the violence, but those talks have repeatedly collapsed.
(Copy Rights IslamOnline.net)