July 12, 2005

Blast in Israeli city of Netanya, many hurt

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An explosion hit a shopping mall in
the Israeli coastal city of Netanya on Tuesday and security
sources said there were at least 30 casualties.

Army Radio said police suspected it was a Palestinian
militant attack. Shopping centers have been frequent targets of
suicide bombers during an uprising since 2000.

But violence has dropped sharply since Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
declared a ceasefire in February.

The last suicide bombing killed five Israelis on February
25 outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv, before militant groups
agreed to respect a period of calm to the end of the year.

Netanya is 12 km (eight miles) from the West Bank.