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Israeli Airstrikes Hit Palestinian Targets in Gaza Strip

Israel has launched air strikes against Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip, in the wake of a suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed at least seven people. The explosion was the second such attack in the city in as many days.

Israeli helicopters fired missiles at targets in Gaza City and in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

The air strikes follow two suicide bombings in Jerusalem in which at least 26 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded.

The body of an Israeli mother lay next to a baby carriage following the latest attack at a Jerusalem bus-stop.

The Israeli Government spokesman Daniel Seaman, who has often been called to the scene in the aftermath of terror attacks, said he was shocked by the image. "It was the first thing I saw when I walked up, I am usually able to detach myself emotionally from this, I haven't been able to.

He said he only knows that the now-motherless child was rushed to a nearby hospital.

The Israeli spokesman says the time has come for PLO leader, Yassir Arafat, to be told that while Israelis are suffering now, ultimately the Palestinians are the ones who will suffer the consequences of such actions.

"The ones who are going to have everything to lose," Mr. Seaman continued, "are the Palestinians. There will come a point, and Israel is nosing in on that point, where Israel will no longer be able to restrain itself. We will unleash the full wrath of the Israeli people. And in that case, the Palestinians, as they have twice in the past, after 1948 and in 1967, when they were in control of these areas, twice they tried to destroy the state of Israel and they lost. If they think they are going to succeed this time, they have a surprise coming in their direction."

The area of the bombing was floodlit and sealed off, causing large traffic jams. Police helicopters hovered above the bus shelter, which had been blown apart and the adjacent footpath was covered in blood. Volunteer workers rushed frantically around the scene of devastation, collecting human remains in black plastic bags.

In response to such attacks, Israel has announced that it is seizing and holding on to Palestinian areas until the terror is halted. The Israel army on Wednesday took control of two Palestinian-ruled towns, Jenin and Qalqilya.

There was heavy fighting in Qalqilya as troops began carrying out searches for Palestinian militants.