Suicide attacks in Kfar Saba and Jerusalem kill one Israeli

A Palestinian opened fire with a pistol on passers-by at a main intersection in Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv, killing an Israeli girl and wounding 16, one moderately, before being shot dead. Less than two hours later, a suicide bomber exploded next to a bus in the French Hill neighbourhood in northern Jerusalem. Several persons were treated for shock and minor injuries.

In the Kfar Saba attack, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Sheshet Hayamin and Tchernikovsky Streets near the courthouse in the city's centre and opposite a high school. Noa Auerbach, 18, was critically wounded in the attack, and died of her injuries at Meir Hospital.

"I heard gunfire, stopped my truck and ran out with my pistol drawn," said David Paniri, who witnessed the attack. "I ran towards the gunfire and saw the terrorist standing and shooting in all directions… I hid behind a car and shouted at him to stop and raise his hands. He turned towards me with his gun. I didn't hesitate and shot him in the head. He fell to the ground, and then police arrived and shot him dead."

Sharon region Police Commander Aharon Franco said that the terrorist apparently arrived on foot, although there was the possibility that he had been driven to the area. Eyewitness reports suggested that a suspected accomplice was seen fleeing the scene. One Palestinian was arrested later, but was discovered to have no connection to the attack. According to initial media reports, the terrorist was a 26-year-old resident of Nablus.

Suicide bomber detonates near Jerusalem bus

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Sunday, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up while standing next to an Egged bus at the French Hill intersection in northern Jerusalem. Nine people sustained minor injuries in the blast.

The blast reportedly occurred as the northbound bus was under a bridge, just past a bus stop at the intersection. Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levi said the bomber rushed the bus and detonated his explosives, killing only himself. Extensive damage was caused to the bus.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office condemned the violence, which came as diplomats worked with U.S. special envoy Anthony Zinni in efforts to achieve a cease-fire.

"Israel has offered a cease-fire, pulled back most of its forces in good faith, and this seems to be the answer Israel is receiving," Sharon adviser Dore Gold said.

Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishky said that "the attacks in Kfar Saba and Jerusalem are a continuation of the wave of terror and it would not be correct to connect them to the visit of General Anthony Zinni."


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