Suicide Bomber Kills 16 In Israeli
Nightclub Blast - Dozens Hurt

By Tamara Traubman and Amit Ben Aroya,
Ha'aretz Correspondents
Ha'aretz Service and Agencies

At least 16 people were killed and 45 people injured when a suicide bomber blew up around 11:00 P.M Tuesday night at the "Shpiel Club" snooker hall on Sakharov Street in Rishon Letzion, in the town's new industrial zone.
Eleven of the wounded were in serious condition, 10 sustained moderate injuries and the rest were lightly injured. Ronen Bishari, the deputy director of the Magen David Adom first-aid service said that most of the wounded had been hit by shrapnel or had suffered burns.
The injured were evacuated to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Holon's Wolfson Hospital, and Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tel Aviv.
The blast occurred on the third floor of the building, causing part of the structure to collapse. The other floors of the building were apparently empty at the time of the blast.
According to initial reports, there was no security guard at the entrance to the snooker hall and it was operating without a license.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack in a message to the Al Manar television station in Lebanon. But Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza City, said he could not confirm the claim. "We do not have any clear evidence or information except what we are seeing on TV. But if it is a martyrdom operation, it means that Israel has lost its war against the Palestinians and the Palestinian resistance has proved that it is capable of reaching the enemy everywhere."
One eyewitness told Israel Radio that she was on her way home when she heard "a huge explosion. I turned the corner and I saw the whole building go up before my eyes," she said.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was informed of the attack during his meeting with President George Bush at the White House. As a result of the bombing, the prime minister is likely to cut short his U.S. trip and head back to Israel on Wednesday.
David Baker, an official at the Prime Minister's office, called the bombing "another murderous attack against Israelis. It is clear that the Palestinian Authority has not given up its terror actions and has not has not given up its murderous path," Baker said.
Emergency numbers: Wolfson Medical Center, Holon- 1255135 Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer - 1255131 Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv - 1255133 Rishon Letzion Municipality - 03-956-0999


This Site Served by TheHostPros