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Palestinian workers injured in Jerusalem bomb blast

March 6, 2011 4:46 P.M. (Updated: March 7, 2011 12:57 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian worker was injured Sunday morning in a pipe bomb blast near the Gilo settlement between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Jerusalem municipality refuse collector Iyad Bashir, 21, was taken by ambulance to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital with severe injuries to his hand.

Preliminary investigations indicated that Bashir picked up a rubbish bag containing an explosive device, said Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Simmari

His colleague Moath Bashir suffered shock from the incident.

Israeli border guards and police closed the area and searched for other explosives, the spokeswoman said, adding that an investigation had been opened.

Local sources suggested extremist settlers were responsible for the attack, noting that several other Palestinian laborers working in settlement areas had been targeted in similar incidents in the past.

Israeli police imposed a complete blackout on the investigation, Ma'an's reporter said.

The accusation of extremist right-wing Israeli involvement came days after Jewish settlers proclaimed a "day of rage" in reaction to the dismantling of a settler outpost in the northern West Bank.

On Thursday, right-wing Israelis and settlers blocked a road to Jerusalem with burning tires and closed down train tracks to the country's airport. Israeli forces had been deployed throughout the West Bank in anticipation of settler violence targeting Palestinians.

Some hardline settlers threatened to carry out "price tag" attacks against West Bank residents, which have in the past involved attacks on Palestinians as a direct response to "anti-settler" activity by the Israeli government.
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