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Sharon Relates Tel Aviv Bombing to World Court Ruling - 2004-07-11


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says today's (Sunday's) deadly bombing in Tel Aviv was a consequence of a World Court ruling on Friday against Israel's security barrier, being built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Mr. Sharon spoke soon after a bomb exploded near the city's main bus station during morning rush hour, killing an Israeli woman and wounding at least 20 other people. A militant Palestinian group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, claimed responsibility.

(The group, which is an offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, says it set off the bomb to avenge Israel's targeted killing of militants in the West Bank and Gaza. It was the first deadly attack inside Israel for monthd.)

The Israeli leader said the decision by the International Court of Justice in the Hague ignores the reason for the barrier, which is to stop terrorist attacks against Israelis.

In its non-binding ruling, the court declared the Israel's barrier illegal and said it must be dismantled.

(United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says the court decision is clear. He says Israel has a duty to protect its citizens, but must conform with international law. Palestinians call the barrier an Israeli attempt to seize land.)

Information for this report is provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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