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3 injured in Jerusalem car bomb

car bomb
The area of Talpiot where the car bomb exploded  

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- At least three people have been injured in a suspected car bomb blast near a busy shopping centre in Jerusalem.

The explosion went off at 7:40 a.m. (0540 GMT) in the Talpiot neighborhood, an area of outlet stores and car repair shops, just as the morning rush hour was starting.

Police said some of those injured were passengers on a bus passing by the car which officials believe was stolen.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said: "It looks like there was an organized attempt of terror and violence, and I think it is tragic, it leads nowhere.

"The only way to make peace is by negotiation without the threat of violence, without bombing and shooting. I think this is a great error which really affect the peace process negatively."


CNN's Jerold Kessel: Violence escalates

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CNN's Mike Hanna reports on the shooting death of a Jewish baby in the West Bank

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A CNN correspondent in Jerusalem said there would have been a great deal of activity in the area as it exploded near one of Jerusalem's busiest shopping centers.

The blast came a day after the Israeli Army ordered the evacuation of an Arab district in Hebron where tensions are high following the shooting by a sniper of a 10-month-old Jewish girl was shot died in the arms of her father.

A radio report said the evacuation was ordered to minimize casualties in the Abu Sneinah district should the military need to respond to any other incidents.

The killing of the baby girl and wounding of her father sparked outrage among Israelis, including top government officials. The Israeli military responded with intense tank and machine gun fire shortly after the killing. Seven Palestinians were wounded, The Associated Press reported.

The Israeli commander in the area said the toddler, the youngest victim in six months of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, was intentionally targeted by a Palestinian sniper.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office issued a statement blaming the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat for the shooting, saying it was "responsible for acts of violence and terror."

Palestinian officials disputed the blame.

"There is no evidence the settler baby was killed by Palestinian fire," said Palestinian cabinet minister Yasser Abed Rabbo in Amman, Jordan, for an Arab League summit aimed at giving support to the Palestinian uprising.

Israeli security sources predicted an upsurge of violence to coincide with the Arab League summit.

"This is not how one stops violence and this is not how one wants to make peace," said Uzi Landau, an Israeli official, referring to the Palestinian Authority. "This is one who really wants to fight us and we'll have to defend ourselves with every possible means."

Israelis order evacuation of Arab district in Hebron
March 26, 2001
U.N. to resume Mideast talks
March 26, 2001
Sharon: Arafat blocking peace
March 22, 2001
Mitchell panel tours Gaza
March 21, 2001
Israel closes off Bethlehem after settler dies
March 19, 2001

Israel Defense Forces
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Palestinian National Authority

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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