PLO site bombing harms man

JERUSALEM — Police are investigating the motives behind the planting of a small bomb that exploded next to the Orient House in eastern Jerusalem Monday morning, lightly wounding a Palestinian man.

Police said they are not ruling out the possibility the bomb was placed by a Jewish extremist at the Orient House, regarded as the unofficial Palestinian power base in Jerusalem.

They are also considering criminal motives and that it may have been the work of an Arab intent on harming the peace process.

The injured man, Shuafat refugee camp resident Mohammed Abu Suriya, 40, said he was taking his 10-year-old son Diaa to day camp. When he was 120 feet past the Orient House in front of a grocery store, Abu Suriya saw a black plastic bag.

"For no reason, I kicked it, and it exploded," he said.

Suriya sustained injuries to the leg and scratches on his face. His son was unhurt.

Police Commissioner Yair Yitzhaki said: "We cannot ignore the fact that this occurred next to the Orient House. But until we have more information, we cannot draw any conclusions."

Faisal Husseini, the Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, said the bomb could have been planted by extremist Israelis. "This is part of the Jewish incitement against Palestinians. They want more that just the Orient House."

Noam Federman, spokesman of the right-wing group Kach, said: "I'm not sad that an Arab was wounded." When asked if his group was involved in the act, he responded: "I prefer not to answer the question."

Preliminary investigations found that the bomb was a small homemade device of just a few ounces

There were witnesses to the explosion, but not to the placing of the bomb.