TEL AVIV, Israel — U.S. Embassy security guards overpowered a would-be homicide bomber who had tried to enter a crowded cafe nearby on the Tel Aviv beachfront on Friday, police said.
"The security guard at the entrance to the cafe searched him and when he found the explosive vest, the man ran away and the guard chased him while calling for help from security personnel of the American Embassy," said Shlomit Herzberg, chief spokeswoman for police in Tel Aviv.
The embassy security guards overpowered the man and called police. She said a bomb squad removed the man's explosive vest and it was being "neutralized."
There were no immediate reports of injury and police said they did not know of any other people involved in the attack.
The suspect, whose identity was not immediately available, was detained and taken to a police station for questioning.
The Embassy is a prominent three-story brick building on a beachfront promenade lined with bars, restaurants and high-rise hotels. Security guards there include both Israelis and Americans.
The incident occurred a day after a homicide bomber killed a 71-year-old woman and injured four other people near Tel Aviv.
An Israeli bus driver closed the door before the 30-year-old Palestinian could board his crowded bus, then joined with a doctor in pinning the man to the ground while most of those nearby fled.
Also on Friday, more than 10,000 supporters of Arafat's Fatah movement rallied in the heart of Gaza City, many firing automatic weapons into the air.
It was a show of strength directed at a rival group, the militant Islamic organization Hamas. Demonstrators insisted on the surrender of men who killed the head of Palestinian riot police on Monday.
An even larger crowd of police officers and militiamen marched Thursday in the funeral procession for Col. Rajah Abu Lehiya, who was killed by a militiaman from the Islamic militant group Hamas.
The policeman's killing set off skirmishes in which six other people have died -- the latest a 17-year-old youth who died Friday of injuries sustained earlier in the week.
Hamas leaders distanced themselves from Abu Lehiya's killing, saying it was a case of personal vengeance. But they have said it may have been justified under Islamic law and have not helped in turning over the killer.
Fatah leaders distributed a statement that made a clear reference to Hamas, though it did not name the group:
"We call on those parties who say that they have no connection to the killers of Abu Lehiya to facilitate the mission of Palestinian security to arrest the killers and to stop giving them cover."
In Nablus, doctors said a 52-year-old schoolteacher, Shaden Abu Hikleh, died of a shot to the heart that Palestinian witnesses said came from someone in an Israeli jeep. The Israeli army said it was unaware of any shooting.
In the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, doctors said that Fathiyeh Soufi, a 47-year-old nurse, died of injuries suffered on Oct. 2. Witnesses said was shot in the head from an Israeli border post as she left her house. The army said the post had responded to gunfire from a populated area on that day.
In political developments, Palestinian leaders said they may be forced to "re-evaluate" support for a two-state solution -- Palestine alongside Israel -- because new Jewish settlements are taking land and water essential for a Palestinian state.
"Israel's ultimate goal is to permit a Palestinian 'state' which would be in effect the Middle Eastern equivalent of a Native American Indian reservation," said a document given to senior U.S. officials this week by Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayad, who was visiting Washington, D.C.
The document released to reporters on Friday appeared to be the first time that Palestinian Authority officials have formally suggested that a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel was becoming impossible. The document did not mention alternatives.
The two-state concept has been the heart of nearly all internationally backed attempts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and Palestinian officials have repeatedly endorsed the idea over the past decade.
Israel has continued to expand subsidized Jewish settlements on lands captured during the 1967 Mideast War, particularly in the area of East Jerusalem, steadily putting Israeli citizens on lands where the Palestinians hope to create their state and their capital.
Palestinians say the settlements, many of them on land expropriated or seized from Palestinians, are illegal under international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions -- a position Israel rejects.
"We are talking about the homeland of the Jewish people," said Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "This country is ours. Five or six times they forced wars upon us with the aim of kicking us out."
He said Israel had offered "to give up parts of our country in order to achieve peace with our neighbors."
A sheep with a gun, is still a sheep.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.