JERUSALEM, JULY 28 -- A pipe bomb exploded on a crowded Tel Aviv beach today, killing a 17-year-old Canadian girl, wounding at least 17 others and prompting a number of revenge attacks by Israelis on Arabs in the area.
The explosion was the latest in a wave of terrorist bombings around the country in the last two months, including at least six caused by pipe bombs. Police said 13 Arabs were held for questioning after today's blast, but none had been charged by late tonight. No group has claimed responsibility in any of the attacks, but government sources contend they are organized by radical Palestinian groups.
A girl from Toronto, Marnie Kimmelman, who was visiting as a tourist, died in a hospital within hours of the bombing, news reports said. The rest of the injured, including three other young Canadian tourists and a 9-year-old boy, were reported to have suffered minor to moderately serious shrapnel wounds.
The bomb exploded this afternoon on the "Jerusalem Beach" stretch of Tel Aviv's hotel-lined ocean front as thousands of Israelis crowded near the water. Police said the homemade bomb was left in a beach bag near a lifeguard's post.
Following the blast, enraged Israelis on the beach began to attack Arabs in the area. Hundreds of people blocked traffic on a main road near the beach and hurled bottles at passing cars bearing license plates from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Police were called to disperse the crowd, and authorities sealed off the beach to prevent further disturbances.
Later, four Arabs were injured in an attack by a group of Jews at a downtown hotel, Israel radio said. More than a dozen persons were arrested in the various anti-Arab incidents, the radio said.
The blast fit the pattern of a series of bombings dating back to late May, when the slaying of seven Arab workers by an Israeli gunman near Tel Aviv touched off a wave of anti-Israeli violence.
The most serious of the earlier attacks occurred May 28, when a pipe-bomb blast killed one person and injured nine at Jerusalem's bustling produce market. Since then, other bombs have exploded at a Jerusalem bus stop and in a downtown pedestrian mall, as well as in other cities.
Police Commissioner Yaacov Turner, speaking on army radio, declared that the aim of the bombing wave is to touch off more violence. "The intention of the bomb setters is just that -- not only to injure, but to create rioting between Jews and Arabs," he said, in appealing to Israelis to cease attacks on Arabs.