At least two Israelis were killed and some 16 hurt in a blast took place in the French Hill settlement in Jerusalem , on Wednesday afternoon. The blast took place near a hitchhike post on the road to the Dead Sea according to the Jerusalem Police chief, Ilan Franco.

Israeli sources said the bomber was a female, probably from Jenin area. This information was not confirmed later when the Aqsa Martyr Brigade, the armed wing of Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.

Of the wounded is in critical condition, two people have serious injuries and 13 others sustained light and moderate wounds.

Moshe Suissa of the Jerusalem fire department said the attacker tried to approach a hitchhiking post used by Israeli soldiers when a Border Policeman spotted her.

‘He tried to stop her and she blew up,’ Suissa told Channel Two television. The blast also destroyed the bus stop.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat condemned the attack, saying the Palestinians oppose all violence aimed at civilians, and called on the United States to use its influence to persuade Israel to come back to the negotiating table with the Palestinians.

Israeli army sealed off the area of the attack and carried out searches for additional expected explosive devices and set up roadblocks in the Ramallah area, not far north of French Hill.

Palestinian sources related this bombing to the ‘series of retaliations’ vowed by Zakaria Al-Zubeidi, leader of the Aqsa Brigade in Jenin, after Israeli special units and Air force assassinated 13 of the Brigade operatives in Jenin and Nablus during the past week.