Bombing draws international condemnation from leaders
There was blanket condemnation for yesterday's terror attack, with U.S. President George W. Bush leading the international outcry.
Bush denounced the suicide bombing, saying terrorists will not prevail in the region.
"The president condemns in the strongest terms today's attack on innocents in Israel," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "His message to terrorists is that their efforts will not be successful."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he "utterly condemns the terrorist attack."
Annan said in a statement that he was increasingly concerned by the steady escalation of violence between Israelis and the Palestinians, which since January has killed 176 Palestinians and 30 Israelis.
He urged the two parties to draw back from the "dangerous and de-humanizing situation" and show respect for international humanitarian law protecting civilians.
"I remain convinced that violence will produce neither security nor peace," the statement said.
The British government also condemned the bombing and urged Israelis and Palestinians to break their cycle of violence with peace talks.
Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman said he "condemns absolutely what has happened and would obviously call on all sides to do what they can to break the cycle of violence, because it is only through engagement that we can realize the vision everyone wants to see."
He said, "There needs to be dialogue in order for this to be resolved, with the Israeli administration having to have confidence that their interlocutors on the Palestinian side can deliver, and that is why we have put a high premium on reform in relation to the Palestinian Authority."
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also condemned the attack and offered his sympathies to the victims.
"There is no justification for attacks on innocent civilians. Attacks like these will not help the Palestinian cause. Once again, I urge all parties to do everything they can to prevent further bloodshed on both sides," he said.
Mark Sofer, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said "once again, the bestial hand of Palestinian terrorism has struck at the heart of Israel," adding that in the past two months the IDF had thwarted almost 100 attempted attacks.
"We are facing a (Palestinian) leadership which at best is unwilling to act, and at worst is actually complicit in many of the terrorist activities that we see," he added. "What we see is terror, slaughter of innocent children, people going about their daily lives."