From Jerusalem Post Dec. 5, 2005 11:37 Updated Dec. 5, 2005 16:47 By JPOST.COM STAFF ...
Four people were killed and 66 were wounded - three seriously - in an explosion that rocked the entrance to the Hasharon shopping mall on Herzl Street in Netanya at 11:25 a.m. Monday morning. Another person died on the operating table at Laniado Hospital in Netanya.
Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi told reporters that the bomber was 'identified 15 meters in front of the mall by policemen and a security guard. Police managed to keep him away from the gate, and he blew himself up when police approached him to conduct a search of his bags.'
According to Karadi, "Members of the security services were hurt in the event," but "the actions of the guards and the police prevented a much more deadly bombing."
...The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack ...Imad Abu Diab, a leader of the Islamic Jihad in Tulkarm, told The Jerusalem Post that "the tahdiya (or "calm") no longer exists and that operations against Israel will continue as long as there is occupation."
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bombing and ordered the arrest of those involved, his office said in a statement. "This operation ... against civilians causes the most serious harm to our commitment to the peace process and the Palestinian Authority will not go easy on whoever is found to be responsible for this operation," the statement quoted him as saying.
..."It's obvious that the Palestinian Authority is showing no intention to take real steps to dismantle or disarm the terrorist organizations," Ra'anan Gissin, spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said in response to the bombing. The bombing was "a direct consequence of not taking these steps." He further accused Syria, Iran and Hizbullah of encouraging terrorism in Israel "for the purpose of scuttling the process that seemed to be gaining momentum," but added that this did not absolve the PA of responsibility.
Gissin told reporters that the security cabinet would meet Monday evening to decide what measures Israel would take in response to the bombing. "We'll take all necessary steps to defend ourselves," he stressed, and added that Israel would not be limited in any way in its response.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called the attack "additional proof of the inaction of the Palestinian Authority under Abu Mazen. Israel can't stand a continuation of the spilling of blood in the cities and the Kassam attacks." He added, "The leadership of the Palestinian Authority is refusing to act against the terror organizations and to dismantle them.
...The Islamic Jihad was also behind the October suicide bombing in the Hadera market that killed five people.
Five people were killed in a July 12 terror attack at the same mall.
Arieh O'Sullivan, Hilary Leila Krieger, Matthew Gutman, Gil Hoffman, Yaakov Katz and AP contributed to this report.