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Terrorist Bombing Strikes Hadera Market

By, VOA News &

A terrorist bombing in a Hadera open-air market killed five people and wounded more than 30 Wednesday afternoon. Shortly before 4 p.m., an Arab suicide bomber made his way into the market in the northern city and detonated explosives he carried on his person. The initial police investigation pointed to a white vehicle that may have transported the terrorist to the Hadera market. The suicide bomber \has been identified as 20-year-old Hassan Abu Zeid of Qabatiyeh. According to Israel Radio, Abu Zeid was released from an Israeli prison a month ago.

Four people were pronounced dead at the site of the attack, while the fifth victim died on the operating table at Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera. The many wounded, five of whom are listed in very serious condition, were evacuated to local hospitals.

The Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for the murderous attack. Though the organization has said it would avenge last week's killing of top terrorist Luis Sa'adi, it is doubtful whether such an attack could have been arranged on such short notice. It is therefore assumed that this attack against Israel was in planning long before Sa'adi's death. This was at least the 4th murderous terror attack in Hadera since the Palestinian Authority instigated the Oslo War five years ago.

Witnesses said the blast occurred next to a food stand and destroyed a large portion of the Hadera central market. Hadera is about 44 miles north of Tel Aviv. Ambulances rushed to the scene and took the many wounded to nearby hospitals.

Yonatan Yagodovsky, the Director of Israel's Emergency Services told a television interviewer, "Fortunately or unfortunately the population in Israel have had a lot of experience, including in Hadera. This is not the first attack that this city has suffered. The people know what to do, they know when the scene is unsafe and at the same time the security services, with the help of the municipality have closed down the area, preventing people from going into the area."

Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said he hoped the attack would not undermine a fragile informal ceasefire between Palestinian militant groups and Israel that has been in effect since earlier this year condemned the attack. Also on Wednesday, in an address to the Palestinian parliament, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned militants not to launch attacks against Israel, saying such attacks allowed Israel to launch strikes against Palestinians.

Wednesday's bombing was the first such attack since August when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at Be'er Sheva's central bus station wounding at least 20. In July a suicide bomber blew himself up at a shopping mall in Netanya, near the West Bank killing five and wounding at least 30. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for that attack as well.

The suicide bombing in Hadera was carried out by the Islamic Jihad's military wing the al-Quds Brigades in the West Bank, Abu al-Muaman. One of the organization's leaders told Ynet, "This attack is merely a preliminary response by the Palestinian rebellious groups, and harder retaliation is on its way."

He said Israel should expect an "earth shaking" response to Sa'adi's killing. The Islamic Jihad will not accept a situation in which its men are being assassinated without the organization has the right to respond to Israeli aggression."

An Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, Khaled al-Batash said that "the bombing was a blessed operation, carried out by blessed hands." Al-Batash also claimed that the strike constituted a response to Sa'adi's killing, saying that it was another reaction to Israeli violations of the calm agreed upon in the West Bank.

Iranian President Calls for Israel's Destruction

By VOA News &

Iran's hard-line president has called for the destruction of Israel and warned Muslim nations who recognize the Jewish state that they will be forever disgraced.

Speaking at a Tehran conference entitled "The World Without Zionism" Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told thousands of students that countries or leaders who acknowledge Israel would be confronted with the wrath of the Islamic community. Intoning the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, he said, "Israel must be wiped off the map."

He also called Israel's recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip "a trick," meant to make Islamic states acknowledge Israel. The establishment of the State of Israel was an act of aggression," Ahmedinejad declared, "The Islamic nation will not allow its historic enemy to exist within it."

Bill Gates Praises Israel's Hi-Tech


Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates, in Israel for a short visit, met with hi-tech leaders, high school students and government leaders, and lavished praise on Israel's hi-tech industry. Israel is a "science and hi-tech superpower," said Gates, known as the world's richest man. "Considering the density of start-ups in Israel and local successes, Israel is like a part of Silicon Valley."

Gates began his visit to Israel by meeting with upper management of several leading Israeli hi-tech companies, and afterwards with some 400 Microsoft Israel employees. The Haifa-based Microsoft Israel was the 13th foreign-based subsidiary company founded by Microsoft, and Gates had warm words of praise for its performance. Though Microsoft Israel was born in 1988, this was Gates' first visit to Israel.

Gates also praised Israel's hi-tech community for its achievements in information security and the high rate of computer literacy among Israelis. "Israel is a major player in the hi-tech world," Gates told Ma'ariv. "Hi-tech people are very aware that Israel, compared to its small size, has some amazing technological achievements. There is a greater concentration of talented hi-tech manpower here in comparison to other countries - almost to the extent of Silicon Valley... The level of technological integration in the country is evident. The use of fast speed internet, lap tops and cell phones is advanced here and puts Israel at cutting edge of world technology."

Asked how it feels to be the world's richest man, Gates said it is both an honor and a responsibility. "Everything I do involves a lot of responsibility," he said, Israeli21c reported. "My work at Microsoft and for charity involves a lot of responsibility, but I also enjoy what I do. My wealth enables me to do things, and I must confess that I make the right choices on how the wealth is distributed for treating diseases... My wealth is now mainly divided between Microsoft shares and the money I donate to charity."

Wednesday, the Microsoft wizard met with 40 "outstanding" high school students, conducting a workshop for them on technological development. Gates then met with Acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert - who congratulated Gates on his upcoming 50th birthday - and was scheduled to meet afterwards with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before departing for Jordan. His tight scheduled also included delivering the keynote address to some 2,500 businessmen at a Microsoft Israel seminar entitled, "The New World of Work."

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