5 Dead in Israel Wedding Hall Attack
JERUSALEM (AP) _ A Palestinian tossed hand grenades into a wedding hall in northern Israel on Friday, and five people were killed and more than 30 wounded, Israeli police said. A Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Army radio said a suicide bomber tried to detonate explosives attached to his body at the entrance to the hall but was overtaken by security guards. The attacker then exploded the grenades.
``A terrorist went into the wedding hall and threw grenades,″ said Haim Dominovsky, a police spokesman for police in northern Israel.
He said the attacker was among the five dead. It was not immediately known how he died.
The Al Aqsa Brigades, a militia linked to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah, claimed responsibility.
The group said that Abed Hassouna from a village near the Palestinian town of Nablus carried out the attack to avenge the death of Raed Karmi, the militia’s leader in the town of Tulkarem.
Karmi was killed in a bomb blast earlier this week that is widely believed to have been carried out by Israel. The group has vowed to avenge his death.
A belt filled with explosives was found on the attacker and police were trying to defuse it, army radio said.
Then northern city of Hadera is located near the line separating Israel from the West Bank, has been the scene of several Palestinian bombings in recent months.
In a recent attack in Hadera, a Palestinian suicide bomber set off explosives strapped to his body on a bus on a main highway Nov. 29, killing himself and three Israeli passengers. The militant Islamic Jihad group later claimed responsibility for the blast.
Israel renewed its blockade of several Palestinian towns in the West Bank on Thursday following the killings of three civilians by Palestinian gunmen. In the West Bank, a Palestinian militia leader died Thursday in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops.
This week’s violence came after a lull in fighting that followed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s announcement of a cease-fire in December.