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Two Killed in Explosion in Central Jerusalem

Aired November 2, 2000 - 8:14 a.m. ET


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to break away right now. We want to take you live to Israel, where CNN's Mike Hanna is standing by with breaking news right now about a possible explosion in Jerusalem -- Mike.

MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, within the last few minutes, there has been an explosion in the center of Jerusalem. We understand, according to the police, that it was a bomb placed in a car. The police say that two people have been killed, several people have been injured. This occurred within the last five minutes, a large explosion, followed by the howl of sirens, as ambulances and police cars move towards the spot.

We understand that the position of the bomb, or the explosive device, was in the vicinity of the Mahane Yehuda market, a popular market in the middle of Jerusalem, just off the side of Jaffa Road, a popular thoroughfare through the city.

At this particular stage, according to the police, two people have been killed, a number of people injured, and the cars in the vicinity of where they believe the explosive device detonated have also been severely damaged.

The area has been cordoned off and Safa (ph) groups, that is explosive experts, are searching the area for signs of any further explosive devices, or any further threat to people in the vicinity.

This bomb explosion follows a day on which a peace agreement appeared to have been brokered between the Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This agreement, brokered overnight between former Israeli Prime minister Shimon Peres and the Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, indicated that they would implement the resolutions of Sharm el-Sheikh.

We are looking now at pictures from downtown Jerusalem. We see there the cloud smoke arising over the side of the Mahane Yehuda. There we see an actual map of the position. On the right hand side, as you look at your screen, is downtown Jerusalem proper. On your left -- moving towards the left of your screen is the -- one of the main arterial roads leading out of Jerusalem, on the way to Tel Aviv.

This, as I was saying, follow the day in which an agreement had been brokered. Within the last couple of hours we had been waiting for a statement to be made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, in terms of which they were going to call for an end to the violence, in terms of which they were to undertake measures to end the cycle of conflict that has been lasting for nearly the last six weeks.

Those are the pictures from Israeli television of the event within the last few minutes. To repeat, an explosive device has detonated in downtown Jerusalem. At least two people, according to Israeli police, have been killed; a number have been injured; a number of cars within the vicinity of where the device detonated have been badly damaged.

Once again, we're returning to live pictures of the scene, and these are pictures as they are coming in, in terms of what is happening in the vicinity. We understand that the Mahane Yehuda market, this a very popular markets in the middle of Jerusalem, and one which in recent years has been the target of bomb attacks.

At this particular stage, we are understanding from Israeli police two people have been killed, a number of people have been injured, there has been damage, which appears at first reports limited to the cars in the immediate vicinity of where the actual explosive detonation took place. There are explosive experts combing the particular area. At present the whole area has been cordoned off.

Now, in the wake of this agreement reached overnight between Mr. Arafat and the former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, groups were opposed to it, such as the extremist Hamas movement, which issued a statement after the agreement was announced, saying that it would ignore the agreement and calling on Palestinians to continue the intifada, the throwing off the yoke against the Israeli government.

Now, obviously, at this stage, no indication as to who was responsible for this explosion, no indication as to whether anybody has claimed responsibility for it. But certainly, an explosion which would appear to be timed to coincide with joint announcements that were due to be made by both the prime minister of Israel and the Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat -- Ralitsa.

RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Mike, as we welcome our American viewers who joined us just now, can this explain the delay in the statements that we were expecting on the cease-fire from both leaders, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak?

HANNA: No, not necessarily Ralitsa. The delay had happened before this explosion happened. The actual announcement by the two leaders was due to take place approximately an hour and 20 minutes ago. The delay was initially explained for technical reasons. We understood this to mean that there were problems, in terms of the offices coordinating the announcements to ensure that the two leaders made them at exactly the same time. There were then conflicting reports as to why the delay in the announcement was continuing.

However, this bomb explosion occurred at some five minutes past three, that is about 15 minutes ago. And so, certainly, there does appear to be no connection between the explosion and the delay on behalf of the ministers -- of the leaders, in terms of making the announcement, Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: and Mike, this certainly adds a new element, raises to a new level the violence. We have not seen an attack -- a terrorist attack in a civilian area, as you say, in an area very popular with people, visited by a lot of people.

HANNA: Well, the Israeli defense force has been issuing strong warnings for a number of weeks now that such attacks are expected, they are likely, that people must be concerned that this is an ever present possibility. These warnings have been made for a long period of time, and it appears that the warnings have been proved correct, in terms of this attack, this bombing attack that we have seen down the road here.

Police have now confirmed that the explosion was that of a car bomb. The precise area of where the car was parked, we are not quite sure. We see again the plume of smoke coming out of over the area of downtown Jerusalem, the central part of Jerusalem.

The death toll, at this particular point -- there we see the precise estimate of where the bombing took place. It was, say Israeli police, a car bomb. The police say, as well, that a number of cars that were parked in the vicinity were badly damaged by the explosion. Two people are reported to have been killed. The area has been cordoned off. There are investigated teams searching the area to insure that there are no further explosive devices in this particular area.

But, as you were saying, it is a massive escalation, in terms of what has been happening in this ongoing conflict, escalation in the fact that it is for the first time that the violence has struck home to the very heart of downtown Jerusalem. It is the first time that people have been killed in a direct suicide bombing attack.

There was a suicide bombing attempt, according to Israeli authorities, near the settlement of Netzarim, where a Palestinian on a bicycle reportedly with explosives tied to his body drove into the wall of that settlement. However, this is the first time that it has been seen in downtown Jerusalem itself, Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: And Mike, Wednesday was a very, very serious day, filled with very, very serious violence. Did that bring about this cease-fire agreement overnight?

HANNA: Yes, indeed, Wednesday was a day of intense violence on all sides. There was also, in the course of yesterday, an apparent difference in strategy, the violence that being witnessed was direct gunfire, a large series of gun battles. The Israelis were deploying tanks, machine guns on their tanks. They were deployed heavy weaponry. There was a large amount of gunfire coming from the Palestinian side as well. And it did appear as though the violence had reached a new level of conflict in the course of yesterday.

Hence the agreement, the meeting last night between Shimon Peres and Mr. Arafat. Both Mr. Peres, subsequently, made clear that everything must be done now to reduce the level of violence. This was a sentiment echoed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a statement early on this morning, after the agreement between Mr. Peres and Mr. Arafat had been signed.

However, the -- as I said, we were waiting for both leaders to come with statements confirming that the agreement was in place, confirming that they were committed to implementing the Sharm el- Sheikh accord, which made a number of promises to implement concrete changes on the ground.

Once again looking at the pictures, we just missed those there. However, we understand now from the police that the explosion took place in a small side street next to the Mahane Yehuda market. Therefore, it does not appear to have been on the main thoroughfare outside market, which is known as Jaffa Road. It was on a small side street next to the market, according to police. The bomb placed in a car, once again according to police, and two people at this particular point are confirmed dead. The exact number of wounded not known at this particular time.

We're looking now at the live pictures coming to you here from Jerusalem. The traffic piling up in the streets, as all the area has been cordoned off.

These pictures now centering down on the thoroughfare, that is a bit away from the area of the Mahane Yehuda market, where the bomb was reported to have been exploded. It is, as I say, according to Israeli police, it was a car bomb. The death toll at present two people.

We'll continue to watch these live pictures as we wait for further details as to whether anybody was wounded. We continue to wait too as to see the effect that this has on the agreement that had been reached early on in the day between Ehud Barak and the Palestinian Authority president, Yasser Arafat.

As we know, they were both due to make an announcement within the last couple of hours, condemning the ongoing violence, and announcing measures to reduce the level of that violence, to allow the implementation of the peace process to proceed smoothly.

We will now have to wait and see how this attack inside Jerusalem, killing at least two civilians at this particular point, how this is going to impact on moves to reduce the level of the conflict that early on in the day had promised some hope -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: And Mike, what measures is the Israeli government and the Israeli military likely to take?

HANNA: Well, once again, that is speculation, in terms of what action will be taken in the response to this particular attack. One must point out that, in terms of the agreement that had been reached between Mr. Perez and Mr. Arafat in the course overnight, Israel had promised to suspend what it said was retaliatory for the deaths of three Israeli soldiers that occurred in conflict Wednesday.

What this retaliatory action was, we do not understand, we do not know at this particular point, but there does appear to have been a threat couched in some terms. Shimon Peres said he carried no threats whatsoever, but there does appear to have been a threat made at some stage that some retaliatory action was to be taken for the death of those three Israeli soldiers.

Wednesday was a day of intense violence, in which the three Israeli soldiers were killed, along with six Palestinians, who were shot by Israeli security forces. A seventh Palestinian died in the course of this morning of wounds received yesterday. Also killed today, a 17-year-old Palestinian shot in the West Bank town, death for which Mr. Barak, in a recent telephone call, within the last few hours with Mr. Arafat, expressed his condolences there.

We now have further information was that only those who are in the car were killed, that is the two people -- well, this is not a report confirmed as yet, however we have a -- one injury reported, saying that one Israeli has been lightly injured. That is now three Israelis who have been slightly injured.

This information that we are getting in in dribs and drabs at present, as we continue watching the live pictures coming to you from the area of the Mahane Yehuda market, where the bomb reportedly detonated in a side street.

And further information that we have, according to the police, is that the two people killed were possibly the suicide bombers or the alleged suicide bombers themselves. We hear too that three Israelis have been taken to hospital, lightly injury.

All these details still to be fully confirmed. We now have from the Israeli police, the speculation that the two people that they reported killed may have been those who were carrying the explosive devices, this allegedly so, and we have confirmation that at this stage three Israelis have been evacuated to a nearby hospital. Their injuries are reported to be light -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: Mike, as you mentioned, the Israelis had braced for the possibility of such attacks. What measures have they taken?

HANNA: Well, the measures had been always in place, according to the Israeli authorities. There has been high security in Israel for a long period of time, but in particular, in recent weeks the security has been stepped up, perhaps not in such a visible way, but for one particular way that the Israeli authorities say that they have stepped up security, was by blockading essentially the Palestinian territories, or movement between the Palestinian territories and Israel has been blocked for a number of weeks now.

But in terms of actual visible security within the Israeli civilian areas, there has been a greater preponderance of uniformed people of border police and of army. However, it is nothing far greater than what has been seen in times gone by.

In areas where there has been conflict, such as in these outskirts of Jerusalem, there has been a marked difference, in terms of security, where Israeli tanks have taken up station for the first time in many, many years. So given the intensity of the conflict that has been underway in the past 5 1/2 weeks, the level of security has generally increased, and the level of security against such bomb attacks has increased, but the point I am making is that it may not be as easy to see what measures the Israelis are taking. Certainly they do not share details of what specific measures they take to combat such attacks.

So what we have at present is the two dead. The reason for their death were not quite clear; a car bomb, say police, pointed in a side street near the Mahane Yehuda market -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: Mike, we'd like to cross over now to Jerrold Kessel, who is at the scene of the bombing -- Jerrold.

JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ralitsa, everything we say should be with reservation because there's no confirmation of the reports coming out of here. But security sources and the ambulance services on the spot say that there was a car. It was a...


... in or under a car; two people killed. The presumption -- and I repeat -- the presumption at this stage is that these were the people who were -- had the bomb in the car. It is presumed to have been a bomb. That is not clear, but that is the presumption which its working...


... say. Three people, bystanders, were likely hurt. And they were, as I was coming, reaching the spot, which is near the center of Jerusalem, near the city market, the fresh produce market in a small side street just off one of the busy streets of the market, that the ambulances were speeding away. But there have been enormously -- a bevy of ambulances, police on horseback, police around, crowds gathering.

There is a lot of commotion and there's a lot of anger, but this is not the scene that we've had in previous such attacks, if it is an attack, when...


... extremely angry and frightened. Here there is reservations, there is anger, but it is fairly muted because perhaps the small nature of the bomb and to the extent that there have not been a lot of casualties. The presumption on which they're working on, I repeat, is that two people who were in the car where there was the explosion, and the presumption it was a bomb, were -- are dead and three other people likely wounded -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: Jerrold, was there any warning beforehand, or any claim of responsibility?

KESSEL: As far as we know, there haven't been any specific, pin- point warnings... (AUDIO GAP)

... by and large has really been on alert for the last several weeks as Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the militant, radical Islamic groups who are opposed to any kind of contact between the Palestinian Authority and Israel have warned that they would strike in Israel. The Palestinian Authority has said it is against strikes in Israel in the past, but there have been -- Israel has been...


... but the police have been telling people for several weeks now that they should be alert to the possibility of bombs, and this is now in a sense come true if -- again, we must express, again, the reservations about this, the...


... earlier supposition on which the Israeli security people and rescue services are working at this moment.

There was a fire in that car. Fire engines were on the -- fire brigade was on the spot in very quick time. This is only now less than half an hour from the time that the pillar of black smoke spiraled up from this narrow warren of streets here. And near -- just off the marketplace off the -- from the center of Jerusalem, from the time that there was that explosion, an enormous amount of police around keeping back onlookers at bay, and we have not been permitted at this stage to get close to the exact -- close to the scene.

I'm standing about, I would estimate, about 80 meters, 80 yards away from the scene of the small road which comes off one of the main roads, as I say, off the fresh vegetables and fruit and provisions market off Jerusalem -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: And, Jerrold, are authorities telling you why they're still keeping the media out of that place? Do they fear that there might be other explosive devices?

KESSEL: That's exactly the point. Whenever there is -- whenever there has been such an incident in Israeli cities, the first thing that the security services do after rushing in and trying to extricate wounded or take assessment of the scene is to check the whole area to ensure that there are no further bombs.

That's precisely what they are doing right now. Keeping back, including the media, but there are a lot of cameras around, as you can imagine. But keeping them back from the site to make sure that they do check the surroundings and the environs, and that is exactly what is happening at this time. There are an enormous amount of security, fire engines, ambulances. But as I say, the ambulances just standing by.

There is not the same we have had in the past, when there have been very close to here, some three years ago, a similar bomb when a dozen people were killed, and then there was absolute commotion and mayhem. At this time, it is relatively calm at this stage.

VASSILEVA: Jerrold, thank you. Please state on the line. We go now to Mike Hanna in Jerusalem to put this in perspective.

Mike, tell us about the timing of this bomb and put it into context.

HANNA: Well, Ralitsa, the bombing came on a day in which, in the early hours of the morning, an agreement had been reached between former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. In terms of which the accords, or the agreement reached at Sharm el-Sheikh some 2 1/2 weeks ago would be put into place.

These agreements meant that Israel would agree to withdraw its troops to positions held before the current outbreak of conflict, some 5 1/2 weeks ago. And terms of which the Palestinian Authority would pledge to prevent or restrict attempts to attack Israeli settlements and Israeli forces within the Palestinian territories.

Well, within the last hour, the two hours, the two leaders were to appear on television, or on the media in their respective areas to make a statement, confirming their acceptance of this agreement. This had been postpone initially due, we were told, to technical difficulties. However, then there does appear to be some confusion as to why the statements were not being made. Shortly after that, we had this explosive incident in the heart of Jerusalem.

Now, also, this is the third such explosion that has taken place in this area near the Mahane Yehuda market. In November 1998, 21 people were killed, including two of those who were actually carrying the bomb. In July of 1997, there were 16 people killed, plus the two suicide bombers themselves. For the 1998 attack, the extremist Hamas movement did claim responsibility for that particular attack.

No indication at this particular point who was responsible for the attack that took place here in Jerusalem in the course of this afternoon. The police confirmed that there are two bodies near the car, in which they believe the bomb was placed. The identity of these two bodies has not yet been confirmed.

What has been confirmed too is that as many as three Israelis have been taken to a hospital with slight injuries. But now let's go back to Jerrold Kessel, who is in the vicinity of the Mahane Yehuda.

Jerrold, what can you tell us there?

KESSEL: Mike, still the scene going on, as it was, some degree of commotion, but rather calm. The latest we're hearing from hospitals in the region, there are a number of ambulances that reported making its way in. But they are basically standing by. Nine people have been very lightly hurt and taken to nearby hospitals. This including, apart from the two people, and, again, I stress that this is a presumption of the police that the two people who were in the car were responsible for bringing the explosive, if that is what it was, and that is the police assumption at this time. The people who are on the site at the time, saw the car burning very quickly after that. And this little ally that was just running off. The car was about 50 meters away from the corner of this very busy thoroughfare, near the market.

But, at the moment, as I say, the only scuffles that are going on are the police keeping back curious bystanders and people who want to get close by, and it is the rest of themselves who are being allowed in.

There is, I should point out, a small group, a real small group, perhaps a dozen at most of radical Jews whose are carrying slogans and chanting slogans saying "Deaths to Arabs," but that being a very, very minor occurrence at this stage, and it has not taken off in any way. Most people standing by, bystanders, and not displaying visibly the kind of anger that perhaps we have come to expect or the shock at such an incident.

Although, I dare say, there is a degree of shock at this stage, but probably laced with relief that there have not been heavy casualties --Mike.

HANNA: Jerrold, we have just been looking at pictures there of what appears to have been a damaged or extremely damaged car. We are not quite sure what that was at this particular stage. You have been there before on previous bombings that have taken place in this particular vicinity.

How different is the atmosphere at this particular point, Jerrold?

KESSEL: I think the interesting thing in seeing now is really the position where this car was. It could be that, as I said before, that Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, and this part of Jerusalem, which is very, very crowded, on a day like this it is just setting on towards the weekend when a lot of people come to do their shopping in the market. It is very crowded. In the past, one would have expected this was an attempt at a terrorist strike or at a bomb that they would have tried to be in a more crowded area, if you like. Because the place where the explosions occurred, whatever it was caused, was narrow side street, which would have far less crowded with people at the time than if they tried to park it, or had been standing in the main road of the market. And that is what happened if there was -- you will recall three years ago two suicide bombers who walked into the market and blew themselves up, simultaneously in the market, causing many, many casualties, and a dozen people killed in that occasion.

Now this seems to be -- modus operandi, we are not sure why they were into that road, if again, and I stress again this is a case of an attempted bombing and attempted assault. And also, given the fact that there have not been any serious injuries at this stage of the -- as far as we can gather among people standing by, and if they were indeed the targets of this attack, if it was an attack, than that accounts perhaps for the relatively calm mood of the large crowd, which remains gathered here and where the police are not even having to struggle to keep them back or under control or at a distance from the exact point of the explosion -- Mike.

HANNA: Thank you, Jerrold. We are looking now at pictures coming from the scene in the vicinity of the Mahane Yehuda. We saw there officers ripping open car doors of cars parked in the vicinity, apparently searching for any other explosive devices that could be in the vicinity in the wake of the blast that we saw.

At this stage, still, police are confirming two dead, the identity of the two not yet confirmed. There are at least nine people injured. However, it is reported that they have all been lightly injured. No serious injuries in this particular bombing.

This bombing follows some 5 1/2 weeks of ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territories, in particular conflict that has led to the killing and the deaths of more than 170 people, all but 12 of whom were either Palestinian or Arab-Israeli. The identity of the two who were killed on this particular day still not known.

But on the very day that an agreement was reached to end this conflict, another two people have died this afternoon. One 17-year- old Palestinian was killed in the course of this morning in a clash with Israeli security forces. There had been other signs on this day that the agreement reached was beginning to take effect. There had been reports that Israeli tanks were moving from their positions around Palestinian towns and villages in Palestinian territories.

There had been signs too that Palestinian police officers were attempting to stop demonstrators from attacking Israeli settlements and Israeli defense force positions within the Palestinian territories.

There did appear to be signs that the agreement to end this ongoing cycle of violence was having some effect on the ground. These signs, this process was to have been confirmed by statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

They were due to have made these statements some two hours ago. We are still watching pictures, though, coming from the scene of what police believe was a car bombing in the Mahane Yehuda, which is a market in the center of Jerusalem. The car in which the bomb police suspect was planted parked in a side street, in the warren of streets that exist around that particular market.

If we still have Jerrold Kessel on the line, let's go to Jerrold and find out what is happening in that particular vicinity right now -- Jerrold.

KESSEL: Police, Mike, keeping people back at bay from the site, as they go about searching through other cars parked in this narrow alley. It's called Shamron (ph) Street. It is a very small alley, in fact, only passable for a car with another one, a one-way street in one direction with only cars parked on one side, and then the ability for others to squeeze by.

I'm on the corner of that street, together with the main road, which is not particularly -- it is not wide, but it is the main road of this market area called Griffith Street. And the police are keeping people at bay. They are not having a particularly difficult time because it is relatively calm here. We are hearing one report -- now this is absolutely unconfirmed at this stage from people who have been talking to police sources of the Israeli media, and they said that what happened, and I was explaining before that it was an unusual place that that car parked because it is a relatively small road, and not a very particularly busy one with people and bystanders.

The explanation -- and I do stress that this is a supposition or only an explanation secondhand -- is that the police and there has been a very enormous police alert, and particularly in this area where there have been a number of bomb attacks in the past, have seen these -- reported to have seen these two men the car, or two people in the car driving it, and tried to get them to stop, and that they had sped away into the alley, and that was when the explosion occurred. But that is again a totally unconfirmed report, as far as we're concerned. That's the supposition that is going around here at the scene.

At the moment, there really is less commotion than one could have imagined. There are ambulances on the scene. We have been able to confirm from the hospitals that there are nine people likely hurt, and the two accounted for dead. And the police presumption is that they were carrying the explosives, or whatever it was in the car that exploded, and the presumption is it was a bomb.

HANNA: Yes, Jerrold, while you stay on the line and we continue to watch these pictures, we received a little bit earlier from the scene of the blast. It has been pointed out that the signs that the casualties would be light is that we heard the ambulances going down past the road behind us towards the scene of the blast. We did not hear many ambulances going back that same direction, which leads to the major hospital on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

But, Jerrold, the question has been raised about the timing of this attack, whatever the actual cause or the reasons behind the attack. Would you see anything significant in the particular timing that it took place on this particular day in the wake of an apparent agreement between the two sides?

KESSEL: Well, Mike, I think we can't see, if again, working on the presumption, and I do repeat that time and time again that this is a supposition, that this is a bomb, and an attempted strike by those who are opposed to any kind of understanding or agreement or even peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that this would be the exact time when they would have tried to strike.

There was, after the five weeks of confrontation that has gone on sometimes mercilessly, and certainly without being able to be hauled in, and seemed to have a chance of being hauled in today as a result of that tentative understanding reached between Shimon Peres, the former Israeli prime minister, and the Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat down in Gaza, and it came precisely at a time when Mr. Arafat and Mr. Barak were about to make that statement, or were scheduled to make the statement calling for calm and calling for an abandonment of violence. And it came and struck in exactly that, within that hour, from the time we, Mr. Barak and Mr. Arafat, were to have made this statement, and they didn't.

And the key question, of course, is going to be asked now is how come that -- the delay in the statement? We do not know precisely what lay behind it, whether it was on the Israeli side or the Palestinian side, but we do know there was a delay from the scheduled time of 2:00 p.m. local, that is less than two hours ago, when the two sides -- the two leaders were to have made some kind of statement, perhaps publicly, perhaps not, and we are not quite sure about the details of that. But we know it was to have happened, it was postponed. And in the interim, this explosion has occurred.

At this stage, I think it is too early to speculate precisely whether the timing was absolutely linked to that -- those intended statements, those declared statements, or it was more of coincidence or not. But there have been these warnings. We can stress that time and time again that Israel has been on the alert, and there have been real, real warning which Israel has been operating under for the last three weeks of this confrontation -- Mike.

HANNA: Thank you very much, Jerrold Kessel, who will continue to observe development there outside the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. We are continuing to look at footage received over the last hour or so of events that took place outside the Mahane Yehuda market in a side street. It is reported in one of the warren of streets that lies around that highly popular market.

Police suspect that the explosive disease was placed in a car. There are two people confirmed killed at this particular point. Unconfirmed reports say that these two may have been in the car itself when it detonated. I stress that has not been confirmed. Nine people are confirmed slightly injured in the blast. There does appear to have been, apart from the two dead and these nine injured, minimum casualties.

We are waiting for further details as to what happened at this particular point. We are waiting too for news how too this impacts on a statement that the leaders of Israel and of the Palestinian Authority were due to be making. This statement, in terms of an agreement reached overnight, in the course of the early morning, an agreement which said that Israel and the Palestinian Authority would implement the provisions, the understandings reached at Sharm el- Sheikh, and they would start doing that as soon as possible. They would reduce the level of violence on the ground and they would make every attempt to get back to the peace process.

We are waiting to see what impact this has on that particular agreement -- Ralitsa.

HARRIS: We would like to thank our colleagues at our sister network CNN International for providing us this coverage for the past 40 minutes or so of this explosion in Jerusalem. We will continue to follow this story and monitor CNN International, and of course when anything develops on this story or about the expected statements from Yasser Arafat or Ehud Barak, which we still expect to hear sometime this morning. we will bring that to you live.



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