Palestinians Sanction Tel Aviv Suicide Bomber

April 17, 2006 — -- Nine people were killed and dozens more injured in Tel Aviv, Israel, today during a suicide bombing that has received a surprising show of support from the new Palestinian government.

The market, packed with people shopping for the Jewish holiday of Passover, was ripped apart at midday.

The suicide bomber, a 21-year-old from the West Bank town of Jenin, vowed revenge for Israeli attacks against Palestinians.

And the Palestinian government agreed with that sentiment, refusing to condemn the attack, according to a spokesperson for the Hamas-led government.

"The suicide bombing was a result of increased Israeli attacks on Palestinians," Sami Abu Zhuri said. "Israel is to blame."

The attack was the first suicide bombing since Hamas took power in January.

Diplomatic Strains

The Hamas government has refused to bow to international pressure to recognize Israel as a nation and insists on its right to use violence.

In response, Israel, the United States and other Western countries have cut off all diplomatic ties to the region, along with much-needed aid.

As a result, Palestinians face food shortages, stalled public projects and 140,000 public workers are not being paid.

Where the West has pulled out, Islamic countries have stepped in. Iran led a group of countries on Sunday that pledged $50 million to the Hamas government.