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Suicide bomber blamed for Israel blast (CNN) JERUSALEM, ISRAEL Jerrold Kessel contributed 07/08/03 8:56 AM EDT (1256 GMT) Source: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/07/08/mideast/index.html
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An explosion which killed an Israeli woman in her home Monday was described by police as a suicide bombing.
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A local cell of the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack in the central Israeli community of Kfar Yavetz, north of Tel Aviv.
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It is the first Israeli bomb fatality since three militant groups announced a temporary cease-fire or hudna nine days ago.
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"The hudna which they signed is not worth the paper it is written on," Sharon spokesman Ra´anan Gissin told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "The cease-fire is no substitute for relentless real action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure."
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Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday postponed a scheduled meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon blaming logistical problems. Sources said the Palestinian side was attempting to settle on a strategy for the next meeting.
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A Israeli woman, named by Haaretz as Mazal Afari, 63, and a bomber were found in the wreckage of the Kfar Yavetz home. Three of the woman´s grandchildren, who were with her in the house, were lightly injured, Israeli hospital officials said.
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Police forensic teams concluded the incident was a suicide bombing after examining the condition of the bodies and finding explosives residue and a switch that could have been used in a bomb.
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Police released no information on the identity of the attacker or why he had entered the home where the attack took place.
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The local wing of Islamic Jihad said it had carried out the bombing and threatened more if Israel did not comply with its demands for the mass release of Palestinian prisoners.
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But Muhammad Al Hindi -- one of the leaders of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza -- said the group remains committed to the cease-fire and is checking the claim responsibility.
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Islamic Jihad -- along with Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a faction aligned with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat´s Fatah movement -- agreed to the cease-fire as part of efforts to find peace.
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A U.S.-backed so-called road map to peace proposes steps for the Palestinians and Israelis to take toward ending the conflict and establishing an independent Palestinian state peacefully existing side-by-side with Israel by 2005.
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Israel is considering the release of up to 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in its custody.
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Since the cease-fire was first announced on June 29 there has only been one other death -- a Bulgarian construction worker shot near Jenin, West Bank -- as a result of Palestinian violence. Members of Al Aqsa claimed responsibility.
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But the Israeli military has reported regular lower level violence including the launch of a Qassam rocket Friday from northern Gaza and a Palestinian gunman firing at Israeli soldiers, near the settlement of Kadim, the Israel Defense Forces said.
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Last Thursday, Palestinian medical sources reported Mahmoud Ahmad Shawar, a local head of Al Aqsa in the West Bank, was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces. -- CNN Correspondent Jerrold Kessel contributed to this report (© 2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP. 07/08/03)
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