An Israeli source reported that five Israelis were killed, and fifty others were injured in the Netanya suicide bombing carried by a suicide bomber identified as Lutfi Amin Abu Saada, 21, from Allar village, near the west Bank city of Tulkarem.
Among the injured, a number of Israeli security men, Israeli Police Commissioner, Moshe Karadi said, an Israeli medical source reported.
The Arabs48 news website reported that the bomber is a member of the Islamic Jihad movement.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, called for a security meeting on Monday evening in Tel Aviv in order to discuss the measures Israel will take in retaliation to the bombing.
Sharon held the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, responsible for the bombing “since he is busy with the elections instead of fighting terrorism”, according to Sharon.
Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom threatened that Israel will strike hard in retaliation to the bombing.
Also, the Israeli Radio reported that the Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, will hold a meeting on Monday afternoon in order to prepare a “retaliation plan”.
Israeli Deputy Public Security Minister, Yaakov Edri, told Israel Radio that there had been no specific warnings ahead of the attack.
David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office, claimed that the bombing came as a result of PA refusal to dismantle the armed factions.
Meanwhile, Israeli Labor Party Chairman, Amir Peretz, condemned the attack, calling for an “uncompromising war on terrorism”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bombing, and vowed to punish the sides responsible for it.
Four Israelis killed in Netanya bombing
Saed Bannoura-IMEMC & Agencies
An Israeli source reported that at least four Israelis were killed, and 40 injured in a suicide bombing which took place at the entrance of the Hasharon Shopping Mall in coastal Israeli city of Netanya.
The Israeli TV, channel 2 reported that apparently the bombing was carried by a suicide bomber from Tulkarem area, in the north of the West Bank.
Magen David Adom ambulance service reported that dozens of Israelis were wounded in the blast, seven seriously; the bombing took place at around 11:30 A.M.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that Ami Klein, a lawyer who witnessed the explosion from a nearby courthouse, told Israel Radio that the bomber reached the entrance to the mall but wasn’t able to enter.
"The blast shook the entire courthouse," he added.
Initial reports released by the Israeli media stated that the Al Aqsa brigades, the military wing of Fateh, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The Al Aqsa brigades released an official statement denying any relation to the bombing.
The Palestinian Authority denounced the bombing, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, and Cabinet Minister, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that this bombing harms the Palestinian interests and the upcoming legislative elections.
Also, an Israeli source charged that the Islamic Jihad movement claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kahder Habib, a member of the political leadership of the Islamic Jihad, told the Qatar based Al Jazeera news channel that so far the movement did not confirm that it is behind the bombing, but “it comes as a natural response to the Israeli violations and military escalation”.
Tawfiq Abu Khousa, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior denounced the attack, and considered it as an “act which serves the Israeli interests”.
Abu Khousa added that maintaining the truce is a Palestinian interest, and considered part of the political struggle.