Netzarim is heavily guarded

The settlers were in a bus transporting them to the Netzarim settlement in northern Gaza when the remote-controlled bomb went off.


The bus was escorted by the Israeli military but there were no casualties among soldiers, military sources said.


Like other settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, Netzarim is illegal under international law.


Palestinian witnesses said Israeli soldiers directed their tank fire at people around the Netzarim settlement after the blast.  


Hamas’ military wing, Ezzeddine al-Qassam, claimed responsibility for the operation over loudspeakers in the nearby Jabalya refugee camp where a rally was about to begin in protest of a US-sponsored "road map".


The operation came a day after Hamas senior officials met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, who failed to convince the resistance group to halt its activities against Israeli targets.

Following the meeting, Hamas reiterated that it had the "legitimate right" to fight Israeli occupation.

Israeli attacks

In the meantime, Israeli attacks on Palestinian towns and refugee camps continued.

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli soldiers who were staging an offensive in the West Bank city of Tulkarm.

In the West Bank city of Jenin, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters for three hours after 20 Israeli vehicles attacked the city, according to Aljazeera correspondent, Ali Sammoudi.

Israeli forces stormed into houses there and detained 10 people, including the father of a Palestinian who had carried a human bomb attack.

The occupation forces also destroyed the home of another bomber who carried out the Affoula operation last week after detaining her parents three days ago.