Just hours after Thursday's suicide terror attack in Tel Aviv, which thankfully wounded only one person seriously, Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said it was a "direct result of the terror axis between Iran and Syria. Iran supplied the money, and Islamic Jihad headquarters in Damascus sent operative instructions to the organization's terrorists in Shechem."



Mofaz said that Israel's security establishment has concrete proof of the Syrian-Iranian connection with yesterday's attack. He noted that Iranian President Ahmadinejad was meeting in Damascus with Syrian leader Assad precisely as the blast occurred - and that the two immediately issued a statement in support of Palestinian terrorism.



The "Jerusalem Brigade" of Islamic Jihad claimed direct responsibility for the explosion, which was perpetrated by a terrorist from Shechem. This was apparently the first attack to emanate from Shechem in approximately a year, due to intense army and police pressure on the terrorist apparatus in the city and environs.



Police are deployed in many areas of the country today on high alert, in light of the possibility of additional terrorism. Yesterday's attack occurred shortly after a security consultation regarding preparations for next week's PA elections, and resulted in another security consultation shortly afterwards to discuss the attack's consequences.



Some 30 people were hurt yesterday when a Palestinian terrorist blew himself up in the area of the old Central Bus Station in southern Tel Aviv. One person is listed in serious condition, but most of the injuries were shock-related and listed as light. Thirteen people remain in various Tel Aviv-area hospitals this morning.



The suicide would-be murderer was reported to have offered knick-knacks for sale to passers-by shortly before he blew up, just as many Arabs do in the area. Earlier this week, Israel agreed yet again to ease security restrictions, allowing 10,000 PA workers to work in Israel.



MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Religious Party) responded, "The Government of Israel must respond with a strong hand... Instead of evacuating Jewish neighborhoods in Hevron, the City of the Patriarchs, he should speed up the actions against Palestinian terrorism."



Rabbi Shalom Wolpe, of the World Task Force to Save the Nation and Land, said, "Olmert's message to the terrorists is: 'If you murder, you'll get, and if you don't murder, you won't get' [a take-off on Binyamin Netanyahu's message to the PA of ten years ago, 'If you give, you'll get, and if you don't give, you won't get' - ed.]. If Olmert harms Hevron and the Jewish presence there and in the Shomron, this will bring a calamity upon his government."



IDF forces arrested three wanted terrorists over the night - a Hamas terrorist near Bethlehem, and two Tanzim operatives in Shechem. Terrorists twice opened fire at the soldiers in Shechem, but no one was hurt.



Other reactions to Thursday's terror attack:

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said, "Apparently this [terrorism] is what we can expect in the upcoming period, since [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert prefers to make war on the settlers instead of on the Arabs."



Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Yuval Shteinitz (Likud): "This attack must remind us that the Palestinian Authority enables terror activities against Israel. We must stop complimenting Abu Mazen, and make sure he deals with terrorism. Israel must fight terrorism resolutely."

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