President Bush has condemned Wednesday's bombing of a bus in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa. Israeli officials say at least 15 people were killed in the blast.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush condemns the "attack on innocents in Israel" in the strongest terms.

"The president 'stands strongly' with the people of Israel in fighting terrorism," he said. "His message to the terrorists is their efforts will not be successful. He will continue to pursue the path to peace in the Middle East and he urges all to condemn today's attack."

Israeli police are characterizing the explosion as a terrorist attack, but no group has claimed responsibility for the blast in a residential area which has been the target of past Palestinian suicide bombings.

Since Monday, 11 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in separate incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.