Two days after a bombing in Tel Aviv killed four Israelis and wounded dozens, it is still unclear who orchestrated the attack.
Israeli and Palestinian officials originally placed the blame on the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hizbullah. However, Hizbullah denies any connection to the attack.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Saturday that Syria and Islamic Jihad are directly involved in the attack. Israeli army sources said the bomber, ‘Abdallah Badran from a village near Tul Karem, received instructions directly from Damascus.
An official from the Syrian foreign ministry said Syria has no connection to the attack, adding that the Islamic Jihad offices in Syria are closed. He said Israel is known for sabotaging peace processes.
Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack in a videotape sent to the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera. An Islamic Jihad member based in Lebanon told AP that the attack was in retaliation for Israeli’s violation of the pacification period. However, elsewhere, Islamic Jihad operatives denied links to Friday’s bombing.
Terrorist organizations are usually quick to assume credit for attacks carried out against Israelis. A pre-recorded videotape is usually sent to media outlets explaining the identity of the perpetrators and the movement they represent. Terrorist groups take pride in their achievements and there have been cases in which terrorist groups took credit for attacks they did not carry out.
The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aq’sa Martyrs Brigades sent a message through its e-mail list explaining it had no connection to the bombing. They vowed to honor previous agreements and to maintain the calm which they said benefits the Palestinian people and their aspirations. The group said it will maintain calm, “despite all the Israeli violations and their failure to adhere to obligations.”