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Professor Ze'ev Sternhell, the victim of a pipe bomb attack at his home on Thursday, warned that the attack could signal the end of Israeli democracy.

Sternhell, a Haaretz columnist and left wing activist, was lightly hurt in the bombing, which occurred as he walked out of his home in a quiet Jerusalem neighborhood shortly after midnight.

Police suspect right-wing extremists of having carried out the attack. They said they found fliers offering more than NIS 1 million to anyone who kills members of the left-wing organization Peace Now at Sternhell's home following the blast.

Sternhell, an internationally renowned expert on the history of fascism, was awarded the country's highest honor, the Israel Prize, earlier this year. He has often voiced his opposition to settlements, which he has branded a "historical disaster."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed outrage at news of the bombing.

"We won't let any elements, from any dark corner of Israeli society, to harass people who let their clear, lucid, unique voices like that of Ze'ev Sternhell be heard," he said.

In the wake of the attack and the discovery of the fliers, police have beefed up security around the home of Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer.