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Tel Aviv Bus Bombing Kills 1, Injures 20 - 2004-07-11


An explosion at a bus stop in Tel Aviv has killed a woman and wounded at least 20 other people. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has claimed responsibility for the killing.

The bomb was planted outside the main bus station in Tel Aviv. The blast blew out the windows of a bus standing nearby.

Tel Aviv police chief Yossi Sedbom said the bombing had apparently been carried out by Palestinian militants, but that it was not a suicide bombing.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group closely linked with Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the blast. The group said it can strike when and where it wishes, despite Israel's security barrier.

The bombing was the first since March and occurred just two days after the U.N. World Court ruled that Israel's separation barrier is illegal and must be dismantled.

Israel said it will not abide by the court ruling, saying the barrier it is building is a defensive measure to keep Palestinian attackers out of the country. Palestinians say the barrier is an Israeli land grab.

About one quarter of the planned 685-kilometer long West Bank barrier has been built.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to meet later with key cabinet ministers to discuss the world court decision that ruled the barrier is a violation of international law and that Israel should compensate Palestinians harmed by it.

Palestinians intend to use the non-binding decision of the court to get the U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council to take action against Israel.

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