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The BBC's Paul Adams
"The two victims passing by had no chance"
 real 56k

Adviser to Yasser Arafat, Marwan Kanafani
"The Israelis have their fingers ready to point at Yasser Arafat"
 real 56k

Israeli government spokesman, Avi Pazner
"The Palestinian Authority is responsible"
 real 28k

Hamas spokesman, Ismael Abu Shanab
"If the Israelis will not withdraw then we cannot surrender"
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 November, 2000, 18:27 GMT
Bomb kills two in Jerusalem
Israeli police at the scene of the Jerusalem bomb blast
Israeli officers on the scene but the bombers had already escaped
A powerful car bomb in the heart of west Jerusalem has killed a man and woman, both of them Jews according to the head of the city's police force.

The responsibility here lies with the Palestinian Authority which released Hamas activists

Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh
The explosion happened shortly after 1500 local time (1300GMT) near the Mahane Yehuda outdoor market, which has been the target of suicide bomb attacks in the past.

The extremist group Islamic Jihad said it had carried out the attack, which came only hours after the Israelis and Palestinians said they had reached an understanding to end weeks of bloodshed.

We don't know anything about it

Palestinian negotiator Marwan Kanafani

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said the Palestinian Authority was completely against the bombing.

The BBC's Hilary Andersson in Jerusalem says the blast could not have come at a worse time, and it is now unclear whether Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Mr Arafat will make the truce announcement as planned.

Israeli police have launched a massive search for the bombers.

Black plumes of smoke rose above the city shortly after the attack, as medical teams rushed to the area. At least 10 people were injured.

Call for rearrest of militants

Israeli TV has reported that one of the two killed was the daughter of Yitzhak Levy, the leader of Israel's right-wing National Religious Party, which is closely associated with Jewish settlers living in the West Bank and Gaza strip.

The 34-year-old man was named as Hanan Levy from Jerusalem, but the television station added that the two were not related.

Police stand by a covered body in Jerusalem
Police stand by one of the victims
Mr Barak has demanded that the Palestinian Authority rearrest all militants it has released since the violence erupted at the end of September.

"The attack in the Mahane Yehuda market is another grave incident in the violence that has been forced upon us and which stems from a loosening of the reins by the Palestinian Authority and the release of Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners," Mr Barak said in a statement.

A senior Palestinian negotiator, Marwan Kanafani, rejected accusations that the releases meant the Palestinian Authority was responsible for the bombing.

There have been confrontations throughout Thursday between Israeli troops and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

In the worst incidents two teenage Palestinians were shot dead in the West Bank - one in the village of Himza, north-east of Jerusalem, and the other in Al-Khader near Bethlehem, where at least six people died on Wednesday.

More gunfire was also reported around Beit Jala, where Palestinian gunmen were said to have opened fire again on the Jewish settlement of Gilo.

Main suicide bomb attacks
Oct 94: 22 die on bus in Tel Aviv
Jan 95: 18 soldiers, one civilian killed near Netanya
Feb 96: Blast at Jerusalem bus station, 26 die
4 March 96: 13 die at Tel Aviv shopping centre
July 97: 16 killed, 170 hurt at Mahane Yehuda market
Nov 98: 21 Israelis injured in Jerusalem
(Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry)
The Islamic militant group Hamas has already rejected the planned truce, which was agreed on Wednesday in talks between Mr Arafat and ex-Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

The current violence began on 28 September when Palestinians frustrated with the direction of the peace process rioted, after Israeli hardliner Ariel Sharon visited the al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, a site which is also holy to Jews.

Since then, more than 170 people have been killed - most of them Arabs.

Israelis had been bracing themselves for suicide bombings, a tactic used to devastating effect in the past.

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See also:

02 Nov 00 | Middle East
In pictures: Jerusalem blast
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Peace in jeopardy
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
History of bomb blasts
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
The Israeli army's dilemma
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
Text of the Palestinian 'understanding'
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
Text of the Israeli 'understanding'
02 Nov 00 | Middle East
Hi-tech outlets for Arab anger
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