Latest bombing proves need for barrier, says Sharon

 

A Palestinian bomb killed a woman at a bus stop in Israel in an attack prime minister Mr Ariel Sharon said proved the need to continue building a West Bank barrier declared illegal by the World Court.

In his first public comments on Friday's non-binding opinion by the UN's top legal body, Mr Sharon said the bombing was carried out "under the auspices of the ruling", suggesting the decision would only encourage Palestinian violence.

"I want to make clear, the state of Israel absolutely rejects the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague," Mr Sharon said. "It is a one-sided and politically motivated ruling."

I want to make clear, the state of Israel absolutely rejects the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague
Israeli prime minister, Mr Ariel Sharon

Mr Sharon spoke after a bomb hidden in weeds blew up at a bus stop in Tel Aviv during the morning rush hour. It was the first such Palestinian attack in Israel since March and departed from a pattern of suicide bombings over the past four years.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility and said it was avenging Israel's killing of militants and civilians.

Israeli hospital officials said one woman was killed and about 14 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred as a bus pulled up to the stop.

"I heard a massive explosion and ran to the scene," said Ms Hagit Cohen, who lives one block away from the bus stop. "I thought it was the end of the world."

Sharon said the construction of the 370-mile barrier "is the most reasonable measure to take against this criminal terrorism".

Israeli officials have said the 120 miles of the West Bank barrier completed so far have made it more difficult for suicide bombers to cross into Israel.