DIMONA, Israel – On February 4, a Palestinian carried out a suicide bombing in Dimona’s shopping center, killing at least one Israeli and injuring at least 10 others. A second suicide bomber was killed by Israeli police before he could detonate his explosives belt. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the militant wing of Fatah, along with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). This is the first suicide bombing in Israel since January 2007.
This comes a week after the breach of the Gaza-Egypt border and follows Israeli concerns of militants and weapons entering Gaza. There are conflicting reports of where the bomber came from. The Telegraph states that al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claims that the bomber came from Gaza. While, the Associated Press writes that the group stated that the bomber came from Ramallah in the West Bank.
In addition to reports that the suicide bomber entered through the breached Rafah border, James Hider, Middle East Correspondent of The Times, states that there are reports that two busloads of Palestinian militants, who were in Syria and Iran, arrived at the Rafah border and crossed into Gaza. The bombing and fear, resulting from the border breach and continued rocket attacks, could lead to Israel toughening its stance against militants in the occupied territories.
Arye Mekel, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Israel will fight terrorism by “all necessary means.”
For more information, please see:
Al Jazeera – Israel Hit by Suicide Attack – 4 February 2008
Associated Press – 1 Killed by Israel Suicide Bomber – 4 February 2008
Jerusalem Post – Woman Killed, 10 Hurt, 1 Critically in Dimona Suicide Attack – 4 February 2008
Telegraph – Suicide Bomber Kills Israeli Woman – 4 February 2008
Times (London) – Suicide Bomber Strike in Israeli Nuclear Town – 4 February 2008