GAZA CITY, Gaza, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the arrest of militants responsible for Tuesday's suicide bus bombing that killed at least 18 people.
The Wednesday announcement marks the first time Abbas has ordered his security officials to take direct action against militants. Previously, Abbas sought only to persuade members of such terrorist groups as Hamas and Islamic Jihad to abide by a truce declared on June 29.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have claimed responsibility for the Tuesday bombing that killed several children and injured at least 100 other people.
Reacting to the announcement, David Baker, an official in the Israeli prime minister's office, told the New York Times: "It's not a matter of just disassociating. It's a matter of dismantling. That is what they must do, and they must do it now."
A suicide bomber believed a Hamas member detonated a bomb filled with ball bearings aboard a crowded, double-length bus. The vehicle was filled to near capacity with families, some of them returning from a visit to the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites.