- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2001

JERUSALEM Two bombs exploded in Jerusalem yesterday, wounding dozens of bystanders and prompting demands from infuriated Israelis for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to get tougher with the Palestinians.
The bombings came just one day after a sniper attack that killed the 10-month-old daughter of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, adding to a sense of insecurity among Israelis.
"We have a war here," Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying.
Mr. Sharon blamed Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat for fomenting the violence but refrained from sending tanks and helicopters to pound offices of Mr. Arafat's Palestinian Authority, as Israel occasionally has done in answer to previous attacks.
"I know how to deal with this issue and I will deal with it," Mr. Sharon told reporters after consulting with top security officials. "I suggest we all exercise patience and we'll see the results," he said without elaborating.
Military analysts speculated Mr. Sharon would delay a major reprisal until after the Arab leaders conclude their summit in Amman, Jordan, today for fear that any flare-up would help Mr. Arafat rally more Arab support.
Mr. Sharon's office reported later that the prime minister had spoken by telephone to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and told him that the "deterioration in the security situation [was] intolerable."
Mr. Sharon said Mr. Arafat was not only refusing to prevent terrorist actions, but also his forces were directly involved in the attacks and they would "bear the consequences."
The first bomb, left in the trunk of a parked car in a commercial area of the city, went off minutes before 8 a.m., sending chunks of twisted metal and other debris flying 30 feet or more. But because few pedestrians were on the street, only a handful of people were injured, most not seriously.
Most of the wounded were traveling in a bus that was passing the car when the bomb exploded. One of the passengers, 14-year-old Elad Bar, said he was gazing out the window at the car when it blew up.
"I heard the blast and saw the flames. People were running in every direction," Elad said while standing on a streak of scorched pavement shortly after the explosion.
Six hours later in another part of town, a Palestinian who had strapped explosives to his body blew himself up near a bus, wounding 30 persons.
The bomber's body parts were strewn on the street at one of Jerusalem's busiest intersections, alongside glass shards from the bus and dozens of inch-long nails. Police said the bomber carried the nails on his body, intending them to spray on his victims.
At Shaarei Zedek hospital, where some of the wounded were treated, Dr. Yonatan Levy held up an X-ray that clearly showed a bent nail lodged in the bone of a man wounded in the blast.
Since the current wave of bloodletting erupted in September, Palestinians have killed 67 Israelis. A total of 349 Palestinians have died in the violence. Palestinians often complain that Israeli casualties get much more media attention.
But Israelis say that while most of the Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli soldiers, the Israeli casualties are usually victims of premeditated attacks.
Anger already was rising in Israel about the shooting on Monday of 10-month-old Shalhevet Ras in the West Bank city of Hebron. The infant, whose parents are Israeli settlers, was killed by a single bullet wound in the head. The same bullet careened into her father's leg.
An Israeli army colonel told reporters yesterday that the gunman had used a rifle fitted with a telescope when he fired from a hill called Abu Sneina that overlooks the Jewish enclave in Hebron from a distance of 400 yards.
"From that range, it's clear that he had Shalhevet's skull in his telescope when he fired," said Col. Noam Tivone, who commands the Israeli brigade stationed in and around Hebron. Col. Tivone did not say how the army knew the bullet was fired by a sniper.


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