14 Killed, 39 Hurt in Suicide Bombing in Haifa Restaurant

Hamas claims responsibility; suicide bomber injures four, one critically, in attack on West Bank settlement of Efrat.

At least 14 people were killed and over 30 injured, four seriously, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the "Matza" restaurant, at around 2:40 P.M. on Sunday, in the Neveh Sha'anan neighborhood of Haifa, near the "Grand Kanion" shopping mall.

Less than two hours later, a suicide bomber injured four people, one critically and another seriously, in an attack on the West Bank settlement of Efrat's commercial center.

Magen David Adom first-aid workers said that some 30 people injured in the Haifa blast had been evacuated to hospital. Among the dead were a father, his son and daughter. The mother was lightly wounded.

The restaurant, which was crowded at the time of the blast, is located in a gas station complex. It is owned by Jews but run by Israeli Arabs.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, with Hamas official Abdel Aziz Rantisi telling Abu Dhabi television that the attacks would continue until Israel ended its operation in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the IDF has been occupying Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's compound since Friday.

"We will continue the martyrdom attacks on Israel until the full withdrawal from Palestinian territory," Hamas announced over mosque loudspeakers in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin.

The organization identified the bomber as 18-year-old Shadi Tubasi, a resident of the camp. His family said he carried an Israeli identity card, meaning he was an Israeli citizen.

A short time later, the Islamic Jihad also claimed responsibility for the attack.

U.S. President George W. Bush condemned the attack, with a spokesman saying that the president would not let the recent attacks "deter him from the pursuit of peace."

The blast was so powerful that it tore away much of the roof, and shattered tables and windows. Twisted piles of metal covered the floor, and wires dangled from what was left of the roof. Witnesses said some of the diners were on fire.

"Watching people on fire is just horrible. I heard an explosion, I went into the gas station and I started to deal with the injured people," a witness, Shimon Sabag, told Israel Radio.

"I couldn't deal with the critical injuries so I turned to the moderate. I tried to put out the fire, even the moderately injured were on fire," he said.

Police had closed off the area to the public, and a helicopter carried out an aerial search of the area in an effort to capture those who transported the bomber to the site of the attack.

"Israel's three main cities were hit in three days. Palestinian suicide bombers have made terror attacks a daily event," said David Baker, an official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office.

"Israel will fight relentlessly. We will leave no stone unturned until we stop this campaign of terror directed against us," he said.

Emergency numbers:Haifa Municipality: 106 / 04-835 6865 (outside city)Carmel Medical Center: 12 55 142Rambam Medical Center: 12 55 143 / 144Bnei Zion Medical Center: 12 55 145

Suicide bomb attack in EfratFour Israelis were injured in a suicide bomb attack in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, in the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements, at around 5 P.M. Sunday afternoon.

Two people were seriously injured in the attack, including an army paramedic, Sergeant Assaf Perlman. Two other people were lightly hurt in the attack, which took place in the settlement's commercial center, near a medical center.

In a call of Israel Radio's correspondent in the territories, the bomber was identified as Jamal Khameid, 17, from Bethlehem, and a member of the military wing of Arafat's Fatah faction, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.

The Palestinian entered the settlement Sunday afternoon, close to the Magen David Adom station. One resident who spotted the bomber asked him what he was doing there. Perlman also tried to talk to him and chase him out of the settlement, but seconds later, the bomber detonated the device he was carrying.