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Violence intensifies in Mideast

Three bomb blasts, boy killed

TEL AVIV, Israel (CNN) -- Explosions and gunfire were the order of the day in the Mideast, a region steadily descending into a morass of ever-increasing violence.

Five Israelis were injured in three bomb incidents that occurred Sunday and Monday, according to Israeli officials, and a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in a shooting on Monday.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber in Kfar Saba, near Tel Aviv, killed himself and an Israeli doctor and wounded at least 30 people.

Two people were injured on Monday when a pipe bomb was thrown into the back of a car parked near the marketplace of Or Yehuda on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

CNN's Mike Hanna has more on the increasing violence in the Mideast

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This is yet another in a series of bombings. CNN's Jerrold Kessel reports (April 22)

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CNN's Jerrold Kessel: Bomb explosion, no casualties

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CNN's Mike Hanna: Ongoing security contacts

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Late Sunday, three Israeli soldiers were slightly hurt while carrying out the controlled detonation of a bomb found in the Israeli northern coastal city of Haifa after a suspicious bag was found.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the Kfar Saba blast, but there were no immediate claims of responsibility for the other incidents. Israeli officials, however, believe Palestinian militants were responsible for the explosions.

The Palestinian boy died in the Gaza town of Khan Younis during a funeral for a Palestinian police officer who died of injuries he received during a gun battle with Israelis last week.

Palestinian gunmen fired into the air during the funeral procession, which traveled the streets of Khan Younis to the cemetery, near the neighboring Jewish settlement of Nev Derilim.

Witnesses told the news agency that the gunfire that killed the boy came from the direction of the settlement. Eleven people were wounded.

Decades-old enmity

While the Israelis and the Palestinians have been at odds since Israel's independence in 1948, the last seven months have seen a sharp increase in incidents.

After peace talks broke off in July, Palestinian anger burst out at the end of September with demands for an end to what the Palestinians see as Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank and Gaza.

What began as stone-throwing demonstrations at checkpoints and border crossings has evolved into mortar attacks and bombings. Israel has responded to the incidents with air raids and staunch resistance on the ground.

Israeli police enter disputed compound
April 20, 2001
Blast rocks central West Bank town
April 19, 2001
Sharon's U.S. test
April 18, 2001
Witnesses: Israel shells Gaza town
April 18, 2001
Arabs blast Israeli moves in Gaza
April 17, 2001

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
israeli Prime Minister's Office
The Knesset, Israeli parliament
Israel Defense Forces
Permanent Mission of Israel to the U.N.
Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian Red Crescent
Permanent Mission of Palestine to the U.N.
U.S. State Dept: Near eastern affairs
U.N. The Question of Palestine
E.U. Middles East policy

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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