Hamas: Israelis will see more
Hamas political leader, Ismail Haniyah, said Monday Hamas and other groups would continue their military operations against Israeli targets regardless of whether an agreement between Palestinian and Israeli leaders was reached.
“The field considerations for the Palestinian resistance cannot be related to the political meetings,” Haniyah told Aljazeera, describing the recent human bomb attacks against Israeli targets “a legitimate right.”
Three people died when a Palestinian woman blew herself up outside a shopping mall in the northern Israeli town of Afula on Monday. The bombing was the fifth such attack in three days.
Both Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Afula attacker was able to breach heavy Israeli security, tightened further after a human bombing in Jerusalem on Sunday killed seven people.
Islamic Jihad spokesman Mohammed al-Hindi told Aljazeera: "The attack indicates the insistence of Palestinian people to go on with the uprising to confront aggression and Zionist occupation."
"The timing may also be considered a letter ... for those who accepted the road map in an attempt to fool the people...The Palestinian attacks in the past few days tell the world that Palestinians cannot be fooled by the road map."
Israel blames Arafat
Israel heaped blame on Palestinian president Yasser Arafat for the latest round of attacks.
"We are convinced that first and foremost (Palestinian President Yasser) Arafat is the factor preventing this process from taking off," Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said.
Mofaz told a security conference that Israel would consider expelling Arafat if he blocked future efforts by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to rein in resistance groups.
But Arafat condemned the attacks and denied Israeli accusations that he was trying to thwart the “road map” plan.
"We hope that we will continue the ‘road map’ which has been
declared by (US) President Bush and accepted by the Quartet," said Arafat. In addition to the United States, the Quartet includes the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.
The plan has been embraced by Abbas, who also criticised the bombings.
"These attacks are not conducive to Palestinian national interests," said Abbas, who held talks with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on Saturday in the highest-level Israeli-Palestinian meeting in more than two years.
US and Israeli officials favour Abbas who is known to be an advocate of non-violence. His appointment as prime minister only came after enormous pressure on Arafat from the United States.
The US president George W. Bush said that despite the latest attacks would not derail his efforts to promote the plan, which Israel has yet to accept. "I've got confidence we can move the peace process forward...We're still on the road to peace. It's just going to be a bumpy road and I'm not getting off," Bush told reporters in Washington.