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In Gaza Strip, Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up; Northwest of Jerusalem, Israeli Bus Comes Under Attack

Aired December 12, 2001 - 12:09   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: There is a breaking news story out of the Middle East, specifically the Gaza Strip, where a suicide bomber apparently has blown himself up, getting word now also that northwest of Jerusalem, an Israeli bus, headed toward a settlement there, northwest of Jerusalem, came under attack with grenades and a number of firing on the streets there by Palestinian gunmen.

Mike Hanna watching this live in Jerusalem now, where with the numbers continue to escalate. The latest word we have, Mike, eight dead there northwest of Jerusalem. Is that you are getting also there?

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's correct, Bill. In the West Bank, near the settlement of Emmanuel (ph), this an ultra- orthodox settlement, a bus carrying Jewish settlers was attacked by Palestinian gunmen, according to the Israeli army. Reportedly a roadside bomb was detonated next to the bus, after which gunmen in the road alongside fought prior (ph) into the bus. They army says that at least eight people have been killed in that attack. As many as 30 people have been wounded. The army says, too, that ambulances and rescue workers were moving into the scene and also fired upon by the gunmen in the vicinity.

Earlier on, there was an explosion in the Gaza Strip near a Jewish settlement there. According to initial reports, the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber. No fatalities in that explosion apart from the person reportedly carrying the explosives.

This has been a day of ongoing violence. Early on in the day, four Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip when Israeli forces struck at a target in the central Gaza Strip. Israel says they were responding to a series of mortar bomb attacks in Jewish settlements in the area. Now Israeli and Palestinian security officials were reportedly discussing a 48-hour truce period. A report indicating that they committed themselves to agreeing and to working toward this 48-hour truce period, but the ongoing violence on the ground, including this very big attack within the last hour, Bill, indicates that whatever the commitments of the security leaders, it's not being carried through on the ground -- Bill.

HEMMER: We will follow it. Thanks, Mike Hanna live in Jerusalem. Obviously, it is nightfall there, just around 6:00, 7:00 in the evening. You had eight dead northwest of Jerusalem a short time ago. We will track it throughout the day.

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