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Europe

International Community Condemns Terrorist Attacks in Israel

Appeals go out to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to do everything possible to eliminate terrorism.

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Palestinian police crack down on Islamic militants after suicide bombings in Israel.

The German government has thoroughly condemned the Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel that killed at least 25 people and wounded about 200 over the weekend.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Palestinian President Yasser Arafat must do "everything in his power" to put a stop to terrorism. "The people pulling the strings behind this terror must be arrested and tried," he said.

A lasting end to terrorism was the only way to clear the path for political solutions in the Middle East, Fischer said. He appealed to both the Palestinians and the Israelis to support the US peace drive in the region "with all their might".

US envoy Anthony Zinni is in Israel in a move intended to help bolster Arab support for the US anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan.

EU says peace attempts must continue

Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana reacted "with shock and horror" to the suicide bombings. "I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks," he said. "The European Union once again recalls its absolute condemnation of these acts of terror that undermine the hopes of peace and only add to more suffering."

According to Solana, the Palestinian Authority must do its utmost to prevent such actions in the future and to work for effective security co-operation. "Israelis and Palestinians should not yield to pressure from enemies of peace nor from those who want to sabotage the efforts towards this end."

Weekend bloodshed

Two almost simultaneous bombings in a Jerusalem cafe district turned a Saturday night out for dozens of teenagers into a nightmare. Ten people died and more than 150 were hurt, 17 critically.

On Sunday, a Palestinian boarded a bus in the port city of Haifa and blew himself up, killing 15 people. More than 40 were hurt.

The militant Palestinian group Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Solana and Fischer expressed their deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, to the government and to the people of Israel.

Crackdown in Palestinian areas

Palestinian security forces have starting rounding up militants across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Palestinian leader Arafat is under intense international pressure to arrest those responsible for the attacks. But observers question whether he is able and willing to catch those groups behind the weekend bombings.