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Israel Promises Painful Retaliation for Suicide Bombing


Israel is promising painful retaliation for Monday's suicide bombing in the coastal city of Netanya that left five Israelis dead. The Palestinian Authority is taking action of its own.

At an emergency meeting, Israel's security Cabinet decided on a series of measures to punish the Islamic Jihad group, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. The army will resume assassinations of Islamic Jihad leaders and step up arrest raids in the West Bank.

Israeli spokesman Ra'anan Gissin.

"We will have to increase our efforts and intensify our sustained operations against the terrorists," said Ra'anan Gissin. "We will have to pay house calls to those Palestinians who instigate and perpetrate acts of terror and bring them to justice or bring justice to them."

Israel has sealed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip, barring Palestinians from entering the country. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz is also seeking approval to resume the controversial policy of demolishing the family homes of suicide bombers.

The demolitions, which Israel sees as a deterrent, were suspended after an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire was declared in February. In the latest raids, the bomber's father and three brothers were arrested at a village in the northern West Bank.

Israel says it will fight terrorism on its own, until the Palestinian Authority dismantles militant groups as demanded by the internationally-backed "Roadmap" peace plan.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat told VOA that his side will comply.

"We have a commitment, a gradual commitment, to maintain the one gun and the one authority and the rule of law," said Saeb Erekat. "And this commitment we will honor."

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been reluctant to confront heavily-armed militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, fearing civil war. But he vowed to punish the perpetrators of the bombing. In a rare move, Palestinian police say they arrested three Islamic Jihad militants from the area where the bomber lived in the West Bank.

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