A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded Tel Aviv market on Monday killing at least three people. Thirty two people were reported wounded.
The blast tore through a kiosk selling dairy products in the open-air Carmel market in Tel Aviv. Rescue workers arrived on the scene to find dead and wounded shoppers scattered among the debris of wrecked market stalls.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack and said the bomber came from the Askar refugee camp near the West Bank town of Nablus.
Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat condemned the bombing and called on the international community to work to revive the peace process. He said it is the only way to break what he termed this vicious cycle of violence.
The attack comes as concerns grow of the possibility of instability among various Palestinians factions as they maneuver to fill the vacuum caused by Yasser Arafat's departure three days ago for medical treatment in France. Israel has said it would exercise restraint in its battle with militants during Mr. Arafat's absence so as not to aggravate the situation.
The last suicide bombing in Israel occurred on September 22 when a Palestinian woman blew herself up near a bus stop in Jerusalem killing two Israeli policemen. On August 31st two Hamas suicide bombers blew themselves up on two city buses in the central Israeli city of Beer Sheva killing 16.
Last month more than 30 people died in separate attacks in Egyptian Red Sea resorts in the Sinai. The attacks at the Hilton Hotel in Taba and at two campgrounds further south targeted Israelis.