The Palestinian Authority responded with shock to Monday's deadly terror attack in Netanya.
Two organizations, the Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out "because of Israel's ongoing crimes, despite of the calm."
The terrorist was later identified as Islamic Jihad member Lutfi Amin abu-Salem of the West Bank village of Rai.
The Palestinian Authority strongly condemned the attack, stating that it opposes any attack on civilians. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas also condemned the bombing, saying it damages Palestinian interests.
Senior Palestinian officials, including PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, called on the Palestinian factions not to "play into the hands of Israel and get drawn into its provocations."
PA uses firm hand
Meanwhile, Fatah's military wing expressed satisfaction over the attack.
Abu-Mahmoud, a senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades activist, said that if it eventually turns out that his organization, or another Palestinian group, were behind the attack, then "this is an important act, since it makes it clear to Israel that the organizations, despite of their commitment to the calm, are also committed to a certain balance in their responses."
"Israeli escalation and the shedding of Palestinian blood cannot occur without a response of the Palestinian resistance, at any time and in any place," he added.
Abu-Mahmoud said that when the organization committed itself to the period of calm, it also stated that the calm depended on Israel's approach, and that any Israeli violation would provoke retaliation.
Palestinians launch investigation
PA security officers have already launched an investigation into the attack, and were instructed by top officials to act quickly and with determination in order to locate the men responsible and hold them accountable for the attack.
According to a Palestinian officer, the bombing has caused huge damage to the PA, at a time when it attempts to promote international pressure on Israel.
The officer added that the PA has firmlt dealt with activists who were behind terror activities in recent months, and that some 30 activists are currently jailed in Jericho on suspicions they violated the Palestinian leadership's commitment to the lull.