Grenade attack disrupts Mideast peace talks

BEERSHEBA, Israel (AP) — The No. 14 bus stop was packed with soldiers waiting for a ride to a nearby army base during Monday morning rush-hour when suddenly there was a hissing noise.
The attack, by a Palestinian activist in the Islamic militant group Hamas, injured 64 people and disrupted the Mideast peace summit in Maryland, seen as perhaps the last chance for wrapping up an agreement on a West Bank troop withdrawal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he was suspending all talks with the Palestinians except those on security issues, and said he would not remain at the negotiating table for an “unlimited period of time.”
Three victims were in serious condition after the 8 a.m. attack in the Negev Desert town of Beersheba, 50 miles south of Jerusalem, and many soldiers were among the wounded.
The attack began when the assailant, concealing something in a white bag, walked toward the bus stop at the edge of Beersheba’s central bus station and hurled two grenades, witnesses said.
The Palestinians’ security chief in the West Bank, Jibril Rajoub, said the assailant was from the Palestinian-controlled sector of the West Bank town of Hebron. He said the man, a 29-year-old father of five, was a supporter of the Islamic militant group Hamas and was imprisoned twice for activities linked to the group.
Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack, saying only that “what happened this morning is part of our continued resistance to the occupation of our land.”