The Israeli government decided Tuesday to revoke the Jerusalem residency rights of four Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in response to Monday’s suicide bombing that killed nine Israelis in a Tel Aviv restaurant.
The bombing was carried out by a member of the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas-led Palestinian government did not denounce the attack and considered it as a justified retaliation to the continuous Israeli operations and assassinations in the occupied territories.
The Israeli interim Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, held a two-hours meeting on Tuesday with his key cabinet ministers and decided to hold the Hamas government responsible for the attack.
He also decided to revoke the residency rights of four Hamas lawmakers from the occupied East Jerusalem.
Hamas officials said that the suicide bombing is a justified response to Israeli military strikes against the Palestinians.
"Israel sees the Palestinian Authority as responsible for what happened yesterday," Gideon Meir, a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official said.
Yet, the government decided against a large-scale military assault in the Palestinian areas and blocked a proposal to declare the Palestinian Authority as a hostile entity. The government decided to step up its activities without launching a large-scale military operation.
Hamas, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israeli since the early 1990s, has largely observed a truce since last year but refuses to renounce attacks against Israel and rejected any proposal t0 recognize Israel’s right to exist as long as it continues to occupy the Palestinian territories.