Suicide Bombing kills Three Israelis

NABLUS, West Bank - A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the northern West Bank settlement of Kedoumim after nightfall Thursday, killing three Israelis, settlers and Israeli media said.

Army Radio said police suspect three Israelis, two women and a man, gave a ride to a Palestinian in their car, and the Palestinian blew himself up, killing all four. The report said the Palestinian was dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

The Israeli military said the vehicle had Israeli license plates, and there were at least three bodies inside. They were burned so badly that identification was difficult, the military said.

The Israeli rescue service said the car was destroyed by the blast and there were several bodies inside. Medics could not immediately approach the car because it was still burning nearly an hour after the blast.

The attack was the first since Israel's legislative elections on Tuesday. Official results published Thursday showed that the winner was acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has pledged to pull Israel out of much of the West Bank.

Daniella Weiss, head of the Kedoumim local council, said the Israeli dead were an elderly couple from the settlement and a young Israeli girl they picked up as a hitchhiker.

David Baker, an official in the Israeli Prime Minister's office, said the attack "took place while the Palestinians refused to lift a finger to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, and we saw the results tonight."

There was no immediate reaction from the new Palestinian government, dominated by Hamas, which was sworn in Wednesday.

Rafaela Segal said she heard the blast and could see the gas station from her house in the settlement.

"I saw thick smoke rising from the gas station and at first I thought the gas station was on fire," she told Israel Radio. "Security forces are searching the area."

A group from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus claimed responsibility for the explosion and identified the bomber as Mahmoud Masharka, 24, of Hebron. The group is a faction of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent offshoot of Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The last suicide bombing in the West Bank was Dec. 29 at an Israeli army checkpoint. An Israeli soldier and two Palestinians were killed in addition to the bomber.

This was the first suicide bombing claimed by a group other than Islamic Jihad since a cease-fire was declared in February 2005.

Kedoumim, in the middle of the West Bank, is the northernmost Israeli settlement after Israel's evacuation of four settlements in the summer. (external - login to view)
Yup, killing innocent Israeli's going to the bank to make a withdrawl. Yeah, i'm just oozing sympathy for Palestine
Shouldn't have picked up the hitchhiker.

I feel sorry for the Palestinian children that have been murdered by Israeli forces because they believed they were shooting at gunmen.

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