Watch CBSN Live

More Mideast Funerals

The Israeli cabinet suspended plans for retaliation against the Palestinian Authority to give Yasser Arafat time to implement the cease-fire he declared Saturday, reports CBS News Correspondent Robert Berger, as Israelis buried more teen-agers killed in Friday's suicide bomb attack at a Tel Aviv beachside disco.

A 14-year-old girl injured in Friday's bombing in Tel Aviv died early Sunday, a hospital official said, raising the death toll in the attack to 20, including the bomber. Ninety people were injured. Several remained in critical condition.

Israel is skeptical Arafat can stop the violence. Israeli cabinet spokesman Dore Gold says declarations are not enough.

"It is very important for us to see what actions are taken on the ground," he said.

Fourteen major Palestinian factions rejected Yasser Arafat's cease-fire declaration Sunday, vowing that the Palestinian uprising will continue.

"In this state of siege and in this state of vulnerability, Palestinian public opinion is not amenable to sort of saying 'OK, we will lie down and die quietly,'" Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi explained. "Arafat [is] trying to defuse this volatile situation to prevent further deterioration and conditions spiraling completely out of control."

At a meeting of Israel's Cabinet Sunday, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Israel would give Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a chance to carry out the cease-fire he called Saturday, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Ben-Eliezer said there had been a reduction in attacks against Israelis since Arafat's order took effect Saturday night.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in particular wanted to see a heavy Palestinian security presence in three sensitive areas: the Palestinian town of Beit Jalla near Jerusalem, the Netzarim junction in Gaza that leads to a Jewish settlement, and the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza, senior Palestinian officials said.

The Bomber

The family of a Palestinian suicide bomber blamed Israel on Sunday for driving their son to carry out the attack in Tel Aviv in which 20 people were killed and dozens injured.

They said it was despair which made Said Hotari, 22, carry the bomb which caused the carnage outside a seafront nightclub packed with teenagers on Friday night in the deadliest attack in Israel for four years.

"The Palestinian people believe in peace but Israelis did not leave any option for us except this roa to pursue," said Hassan Hotari, Said's father.

The rest of Hassan's nine-member family, one of thousands who settled in Jordan after fleeing or being forced to leave in the wake of the creation of Israel in 1948, echoed the same sentiments.

"I was extremely happy when I heard that my son is the one who did this operation and I hope I had many sons to carry out the same act and I wish myself I had done it," Hassan Hotari told Reuters Television.

But the family denied that Said had any affiliation with Islamic militant goups that have waged deadly attacks on civilians in Israel.

"Said is a brave man to have taken the decision he did," Hassan added.


Israeli officials said they had no information on the report.

Israel demanded that as part of his cease-fire, Arafat arrest militants and stop incitement against Israel in Palestinian media.

Palestinian leaders insisted Israel had to make changes, too.

"We have to have a political contest, at least to put an end to settlement activities, to lift the siege, to stop the use of lethal force by the Israeli army," said Ashrawi. "One has to take steps also to assure the Palestinians that they are no longer fair game to the Israelis."

Palestinian Cabinet minister Ziad Abu-Zayyad said, "We're not talking about arresting people or putting people in jail." He said the cease-fire applies to Palestinian police and security in areas under full Palestinian control.

Since assuming authority in Palestinian parts of Gaza and the West Bank in 1994, Arafat has hesitated to crack down on militant groups, fearing a civil war. From time to time, at Israel's insistence, Arafat's police have rounded up militants, but even then bombings have occurred.

In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell said "this is the time" for Arafat to control the level of violence by Palestinians against Israelis.

Powell also said he fears a retaliatory strike by Israel in response to the suicide bomb attack could plunge the region into "an abyss that we might not be able to get out of."

He added Sharon was under intense pressure to retaliate after the bombing and praised him for "pacing" his response and giving Arafat time to act on promises of a cessation of hostilities.

"The situation now is extremely critical, both internally and in terms of what Israel is threatening to do," warned Ashrawi.

The front pages of Israel's Sunday newspapers showed pictures of the teen-agers who died in the bombing, most of them recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, their bodies ripped apart by the bomb wrapped with nails and bolts.

The headline of the Maariv daily read "We cry for our children" in Hebrew and Russian script.

In front of the disco, scene of the carnage Friday just before midnight, dozens of memorial candles burned in the hot sun Sunday. Teen-agers approached the site silently, took candles from their backpacs and lit them. Wreathes, some with inscriptions written in Russian script, lay on the ground where the youths died. A sign read, "We ask for peace, they ask for blood."

In Gaza, the joint leadership of the Palestinian uprising, made up of officials aligned with Arafat along with militant groups, met briefly but did not discuss the cease-fire call, explaining that it was not formally put on the agenda. The meeting ended after a few minutes, officials said, because of fear of an Israeli attack.

Police stations and offices of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were deserted Sunday morning as the Palestinians braced for Israeli retaliation. Shalom said the security Cabinet, meeting in a rare session on the Jewish Sabbath Saturday, had approved targets to strike.

On Sunday morning, Palestinians opened fire on an Israeli army vehicle in the West Bank, but no injuries were reported.

Finance Minister Silvan Shalom said Sunday that Israel is now relating to Arafat's regime as a "model of a terrorist state" on a par with Iran. However, he told Israel radio that Israel is not trying to bring about Arafat's collapse.

In an incident Sunday, two Palestinians were killed and a third critically injured when their truck overturned. Palestinian security said Jewish settlers fired at the car, but Israeli police spokesman Rafi Yaffe said the vehicle malfunctioned.

Since fighting erupted last September, 484 people have been killed on the Palestinian side and 107 on the Israeli side.

©MMI Viacom Internet Services Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Reuters Ltd. contributed to this report

View CBS News In