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  Monday, December 16, 2019
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A suicide bomber has killed a woman in a shopping
A suicide bomber has killed a woman in a shopping mall in the city of Dimona in southern Israel, national media said on Monday.

The explosion killed the suicide bomber and an Israeli woman, as well as injuring 16 other people. A second suicide bomber was shot by police before he could detonate his device.

Joint responsibility for the attack has been claimed by three groups - Fatah's armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's armed wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades; and the previously unknown United Resistance Brigades.

A spokesperson for the Al-Aqsa Brigades was quoted as saying that the attack was carried out as retaliation for the Israeli fuel and food blockade of the Gaza Strip.

He also said that the militants had come from Gaza, denying media reports that the bombers had crossed the Egyptian-Gaza border after militants blew it open last month. The border was closed off by Egyptian security forces on Sunday.

The attack was the first by a suicide bomber on Israeli territory in over a year. Hamas called it "a natural reaction" to attacks on Palestinians by Israel.

Russia's foreign ministry condemned the attack and expressed its condolences to the relatives of the victim.

The ministry said in a statement that an "escalation of confrontation" must be avoided in order "to achieve Palestinian-Israeli peace agreements in line with the true interests of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples."

Some two hours after the blast, the Israeli Defense Forces launched an attack in the northern Gaza Strip, killing a militant leader of the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees. The group has been responsible for multiple rocket attacks on southern Israel.


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