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November 22, 2002

Israel sees worse to come in suicide bomb campaign

When you're losing the game, change the rules
JERUSALEM - Israeli security officials warned that as the country approaches elections in January, militant Palestinians may accelerate the pace of suicide bombings, like the one on a Jerusalem bus early yesterday that killed 11 people and wounded dozens of others, including youngsters.

The alert was sounded as Israelis reeled from the third major attack in less than two weeks and as soldiers and tanks surrounded the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where the bus bomber came from. Early this morning, the Israeli force moved into Bethlehem, taking up positions at key sites.

The militant Hamas group, which opposes any conciliation with Israel, claimed responsibility for the Jerusalem attack and vowed to continue targeting Israelis, even as the new leader of the Labor Party pledged to take a softer line against Palestinians.