israel attacks - impact on the markets

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    The rocket attack on an Israeli airliner and a suicide bomb attack on a hotel in Kenya is likely to further damage air travel and tourism business, not just in Israel. The claim by Hamas to be involved will no doubt result in more punitive action by Israelis in Palestine.

    More particularly, the prospect that Al Quaeda still has the capacity to inflict terror attacks will worry the US markets next week. Clumsy self-serving opportunistic responses by the US just make the whole thing worse.

    From the ABC Online site:
    Two arrested over suicide attack in Kenya

    A previously unknown group calling itself the Army of Palestine has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack, which has killed at least eight Kenyans and two Israelis near the African port city of Mombasa.

    Just minutes earlier, an Israeli charter plane taking off from Mombasa had narrowly avoided being shot down.

    Two rockets fired from a shoulder-launcher missed the aircraft by metres.

    The plane carrying 140 Israeli tourists landed safely in Tel Aviv a few hours later.

    Just five minutes after the rocket attack, witnesses say three Arab men drove a four-wheel drive packed with explosives into the foyer of the Paradise Hotel near Mombasa and blew themselves up.

    Two Israeli children and Kenyan dancers welcoming an Israeli tour group are among the dead.

    One witness says she had just left the reception area when the bomb exploded.

    "We got the keys for the room and people started to leave for their rooms and when the last people stayed in the lobby to get their keys there was a very big bomb near the lobby and the whole roof started to go on fire."

    Kenyan police say they have arrested two men in connection with the attacks.

    In a statement delivered to a Lebanese newsagency, the previously unknown Army of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attacks.

    It said the attacks were intended to mark the 55th anniversary of the partition of Palestine on November the 29th, 1947.

    Several hours later, two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on people standing near a bus station in northern Israel, killing at least five.

    Police shot the two men dead.


    Rocket attack

    The pilot of the Israeli plane which was targeted over Kenya has said he felt a slight bump shortly after take-off in Mombasa then saw what he described as two white stripes beside the aircraft.

    Captain Rafi Marek has told a media conference in Ben Gurion Airport the bump felt like a small bird hitting the bottom of the aircraft.

    "What we saw was two stripes, we had different speculations about what was going on and it was nothing special because we were busy with the take-off procedures and everything," he said.

    "So, I really can't tell you that I had any special feelings."

    Passengers on the aircraft also admitted they had no idea what had happened soon after take-off.

    One eyewitness says the passengers thought nothing of the little bump felt.

    "When we took off we heard a noise on the left hand side of the plane and someone on the left hand side of the plane said there was smoke and then everyone was like no it's probably nothing."

    "It was only towards the end of the flight they told us what had happened."


    US

    In Washington, the United States President has deplored the attacks in Kenya but he says it is too early to blame them on the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

    George W Bush was at his ranch in Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday when told of the attacks.

    National security advisor Condoleezza Rice briefed him before issuing a statement.

    President Bush says he deplores what has happened but says it is premature to rule Al Qaeda in or out.

    He says the United States is ready to help the Governments of Kenya and Israel track down those responsible.

 
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