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All Swimmers Safe After Terrorist Attack in Netanya, Israel; Two Innocent Civilians Killed -- July 12, 2005

NETANYA, Israel, JULY 12. TWO Israeli civilians were killed and several score wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in the Kenyon Hasharon Shopping Mall in the seaside town of Netanya, Israel at about 6:30 p.m., local time.

The dead were both women who happened to be at the mall at the time of the attack. The U.S. swim team that is competing in the 17th Maccabiah Games is staying in Netanya, which is about five miles from the Wingate Institute, where the swimming is being held. U.S. Coach Seth R. Baron said tonight that none of the U.S. swimmers was hurt in the latest act of senseless nihilism.

The 18 year-old bomber was reported to be a member of the radical Islamic Jihad movement, which rejects peace with Israel and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. The attack was the first successful terrorist action in more than four months, though more than a dozen would-be bombers have been caught and arrested by Israeli police during that period.

Palestinian leader Abu Abbas, denounced the attack, terming it "a terrorist act," and said he would punish those responsible.