Targeted killings among options, Sharon adviser says

Thursday, October 27, 2005; Posted: 4:30 a.m. EDT (08:30 GMT)

HADERA, Israel (CNN) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli military have approved a widespread campaign against specific security targets in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed five Israelis and wounded 28 others, a Sharon adviser told CNN on Thursday.

The approval for the campaign came on Wednesday, the same day as the bombing, the adviser said. It is to include arrests, prevention of terror attacks and targeted killings, and does not have a specific time limit at this point.

The suicide bombing took place in the northern Israeli city of Hadera. (Watch the aftermath of the deadly bombing -- 3:25)

Palestinian sources identified the bomber as Hassan Abu Zeid, 20, from the West Bank town of Qabatiya, southwest of Jenin.

Israeli forces surrounded the home of the alleged bomber, Palestinian sources said, and they also entered the Palestinian refugee camp of Nur al-Shams in the West Bank. No other details were available.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Wednesday's bombing in a crowded Hadera marketplace. In a telephone call to CNN, the group said Wednesday's attack was in retaliation for the killing Monday of one of its leaders in the West Bank.

Fat'halla Sa'adi, 26, the head of Islamic Jihad in Tulkarem, was killed by Israel forces in Tulkarem along with another member of the terror group, the Israel military said.

Sa'adi was planning more terror attacks, including "a suicide bombing inside Israel planned to be committed within the next few days," according to an IDF statement issued Monday.

Wednesday's attack was the first inside Israel since an Aug. 28 suicide bombing in the southern town of Beersheba that wounded 21 people.

Palestinian negotiator condemns attack
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the Palestinian Authority condemned the attack. He urged all sides to maintain the cease-fire agreement reached by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in February.

"We don't want to go back to this vicious cycle," Erakat said. "We've been there before. Israelis and Palestinians will pay the heaviest price if the cessation of violence is undermined."

Ra'anan Gissin, spokesman for Sharon, dismissed the Palestinian Authority's condemnation and accused its leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, of "sitting back and doing nothing."

Hadera was the site of numerous terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians in 2001 and 2002. The last attack in Hadera was in October 2002, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near a bus packed with passengers, killing 14 people.

'Heinous attack' condemned
In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan condemned the Hadera terror bombing as a "heinous attack on innocent civilians" and called on the Palestinian Authority "to do more to end the violence."

Also Thursday, Israeli airstrikes targeted a road in Gaza City and a bridge in Beit Hanoun, also in Gaza, the IDF said. For a second day, the IDF said Israeli airstrikes were aimed at fields in Gaza. There were no reports of injuries. Tuesday's strike came after a Qassam rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel.

Earlier this week, the IDF imposed a closure on the West Bank because of security alerts. Two crossings into and from Gaza were closed after the Hadera bombing.

CNN's Michal Zippori contributed to this report.


source: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/10/27/mideast/