Grocery store owner Avner Mordechai, 63, was murdered this morning in Sdei Trumot by a human bomb. The Palestinian terrorist walked into the store shortly before 6 AM this morning and blew himself up, turning the store into a burning pile of rubble and killing the only person inside. Avner left behind a wife, a son, and five daughters. His funeral will be held this afternoon in Sdei Trumot, a religious moshav (agricultural community) south of Beit She'an - well inside pre-1967 Israel. It appears that the bomb was meant to go off a bit later, near a busload of soldiers, but for some reason it detonated early. The store, too, would have been filled with people a few minutes later, after the end of morning prayers.
Security forces later surmised that Mordechai noticed the suspicious Arab, and called him over or otherwise attracted his attention. According to this theory, the terrorist then gave up his plans to kill a large group of Jews, and instead blew himself up right then and there. A surveillance camera in the store may be able to provide more information.
The security forces are constantly receiving warnings of intended terrorist attacks. They attribute no importance to the Hamas announcement that from now on it will concentrate on "small-scale attacks."
Islamic Jihad, according to an announcement received by some of the media, apparently perpetrated the murderous attack.