Blast Kills 5 Israelis, Erodes Peace Hopes
A 20-year-old Palestinian blacksmith blew himself up at a falafel stand in an open-air market Wednesday, killing five Israelis and wounding more than 30 in the deadliest attack in the country in more than three months.
The bombing stifled faint peace hopes following Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip. The blast also embarrassed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who only hours earlier had scolded militant groups for repeatedly violating a truce.
The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge the killing of its West Bank leader by Israeli forces this week.
The bomber struck while the market in the central town of Hadera was bustling a day after being closed for the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
After the attack, the bloodied body of a man in his 50's lay on the ground among scattered fruits and mangled metal shards. Rescue workers covered other bodies with blankets, walking on pools of blood and shattered glass. A section of the falafel stand's metal roof hung from a eucalyptus tree high above the market.
Iran's New President Says Israel 'Must Be Wiped Off the Map'
Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told a group of students at an anti-Israel event on Wednesday that Israel "must be wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA news agency reported.
He was speaking to about 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism," in preparation for an annual anti-Israel demonstration held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. ...
"The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world," the news agency reported him as saying. "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land."
Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map." ...
"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," he said. He added that any Islamic leader "who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."
Religious war? Why, what makes you say such a silly thing?