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The BBC's Paul Wood
"Israelis are clamouring for revenge"
 real 56k

The BBC's Bill Hayton
looks at the days leading up to the Tel Aviv bombing
 real 56k

Former Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu
"Nothing justifies the deliberate, systematic assault on civilians"
 real 56k

Ziad Abu-Amr, Palestinian Legislative Council
"Yasser Arafat is not responsible for maintaining security inside Israel"
 real 28k

Saturday, 2 June, 2001, 01:14 GMT 02:14 UK
Israeli blast kills 17
Victims of the blast lie on the ground
Rescue workers rushed to the scene
At least 17 people are reported killed and more than 60 injured in a suicide bomb attack in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, according to Israel Radio, quoting police.


I call upon Chairman Arafat to condemn this act and to call for an immediate ceasefire

US President George W Bush
Islamic Jihad said they carried out the blast, which went off at 2300 (2000 GMT) at the entrance to the Pascha nightclub.

Israel, which has been maintaining a limited unilateral ceasefire, will hold a security cabinet meeting early on Saturday to consider what action to take following the attack.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Oded Eran told the BBC that the Palestinian Authority must take the blame for the attack.

"The overall responsibility lies with the Palestinian Authority and its chairman, Yasser Arafat," he said.


He said the Palestinian Authority was "not raising a finger" to stop terrorist activity. He called on the international community to apply pressure on Mr Arafat to stop the violence.

The spokesman said he found it hard to believe that the Israeli Government would be able to "prolong its restraint" after the attack.

"I suppose that the government of Israel will be, as of tonight, under great pressure to do whatever it takes to indicate to the other side that life cannot go on like this and that steps have to be taken to ensure security," the spokesman said.

Condemnation

US President George W Bush urged Mr Arafat to condemn "the heinous terrorist attack".

"I call upon Chairman Arafat to condemn this act and to call for an immediate ceasefire," he said.

Injured person Tel Aviv
The injured were taken to local hospitals

"My deepest condolences and those of the American people go out to the victims and their families."

A senior Palestinian leader said that the Palestinian Authority condemned the killing of all civilians.

"We have said time and again that we are against killing civilians, whether they are Israelis or Palestinians," Palestinian parliamentary speaker Ahmed Korei said.

Packed

Witnesses said people were queuing up to enter the Pascha club, popular with young emigre Russians, when a suicide bomber made his way into the crowd and detonated himself.

"The terrorist exploded outside the entrance to the disco when there were people around him," said David Klausner, deputy head of the Tel Aviv police.

"We heard from our left a huge explosion," said Alex Brodsky, 19.

"I saw people lying on the floor. Some had no legs, no arms."

There are three clubs and many cafes in the area, which is always packed with young Israelis on Friday nights, at the start of the weekend.

Panic

There were scenes of havoc after the blast occurred with crowds fleeing and panicked drivers racing away at high speed.

Injured victims lay groaning on the ground and pools of blood covered the pavement.

Scene of suicide bomb attack
The blast occurred outside a popular nightclub

Thirty ambulances raced to the scene of the blast and helicopters hovered overhead, transferring the injured to hospitals in the Tel Aviv area.

A witness who arrived at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where the injured were brought, said he saw dozens of children hurt near the club.

"I was just there, I was in the next street over when the bomb went off. I saw dozens of kids lying there," he said.

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See also:

01 Jun 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Sharon under pressure
25 May 01 | Middle East
Blasts test Israel's 'ceasefire'
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Israel's history of bomb blasts
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Bomb stokes Mid-East tension
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