- The US administration condemned the suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv on Monday, calling it "a despicable act of terror."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday morning that "there is no excuse or justification" for such an act.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the burden of responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks rests with the Palestinian Authority. "We have noted reactions by several Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, that defend or even applaud these barbaric actions, as we have noted President Abbas' swift denunciation of it," McCormack said.
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"A Palestinian government that encourages or tolerates terrorism against innocent men, women and children not only increases violence against the Israelis, but does great harm to the interests of the Palestinian people, ensuring their further isolation," McCormack said in a statement. He added that the US would not have any contact with a Hamas-led government in the Palestinian Authority.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw deplored what he called "this senseless and totally unjustified terrorist attack."
"I condemn those who are responsible and extend my sympathies to the families and friends of those who have been killed or wounded," he said in a statement. "It is particularly repugnant that this attack comes during the Jewish festival of Passover. I would urge restraint on all sides at this difficult time."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement that "it would be a fatal start for the new [Hamas] government if it did not clearly and energetically act against acts of terror."
The European Union, which has cut off aid to the Hamas-led government, called for restraint by both sides.
Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, condemned the attack and called "on all parties to prevent any new descent into a senseless spiral of violence."
AP contributed to this report.
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