Five people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya.
The bomber attacked the Sharon shopping centre, scene of previous bombings, at about 1130 (0930 GMT), injuring some 40 people, several of them seriously.
Two Palestinian militant groups claimed responsibility, although only Islamic Jihad released the name of the bomber.
The bombing came after Israel launched a rocket attack on Gaza, in response to Palestinian missile attacks.
Earlier on Monday, Israel’s defence ministry confirmed that Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz had ordered a resumption of “targeted killings” against wanted Palestinian militants.
Reports from Netanya suggest the bomber was prevented from entering the shopping centre by security guards. The bomber then detonated the explosives outside the gate.
“There was a boom and there was a flash,” witness Yisrael Klein told Israeli TV.
“Seconds later, people were lying on the ground, some wounded and some dead.”
Israeli TV showed panels across the front of the shopping mall shattered by the force of the blast.
The Islamic Jihad group said it carried out the attack, naming the bomber as Lufti Amin Abu Salem, from a village between the West Bank towns of Jenin and Tulkarm.
An earlier claim came from the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, which is linked to the Fatah faction of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The attack was the first suicide bomb in Israel since a blast in the town of Hadera on 26 October.
Mr Abbas condemned the Netanya bombing as an act of “terrorism” and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
But a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the Palestinian Authority had failed to act against militants.
“They refuse to dismantle the terror organisations and put them out of business once and for all. And we’ve seen these results today in Netanya,” said spokesman David Baker.
Netanya has been a frequent target for suicide attacks.
In 2002 an attack at a Passover meal killed 29 people and sparked a huge Israeli military operation in the West Bank.
The last attack was in July, when another Islamic Jihad bomber attacked the Sharon shopping centre, killing two people.