The unicycle of violence hist Tel Aviv


A Palestinian suicide bomber carrying 20 pounds of explosives blew himself up in a crowd of young Israelis waiting outside a nightclub near Tel Aviv's beachfront promenade just before midnight Friday, killing at least four other people, wounding dozens and shattering an informal Mideast truce.

A senior commander of a Palestinian militant group, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, which is funded by Iran and has been trying to disrupt the cease-fire, hired a Palestinian from the northern West Bank to carry out the bombing. Palestinian security officials also implicated Hezbollah.

A Hezbollah official in Beirut denied involvement: "As far as we are concerned, there is no need to respond to such lies."

Israeli officials indicated that the attack would not derail the tentative peace efforts. But the bombing put new pressure on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to take action against militants who have not accepted the cease-fire he worked out with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at a summit that was carefully orchestrated with the help of the United States, Egypt and other moderate Arab countries.

What this bombing proves is that Hezballah must be destroyed, if the peace process is to be successful. Otherwise, the Palestinians have nothing to offer Israel.


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