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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Militants Claim Bombing That Violated Cease-Fire

JERUSALEM -- Militants from radical Palestinian group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility Tuesday for a bombing in central Israel that killed a 65-year-old woman, apparently violating last week's cease-fire.

But Israel's foreign minister said his country was still committed to the truce. It was not clear whether Monday night's attack had been carried out by a splinter group or whether it had received advance authorization from Islamic Jihad leaders.

Meanwhile, momentum appeared to be building for a visit by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to the Israeli Knesset, where he would lobby for a broader release of Palestinian prisoners.

A fax carrying the Islamic Jihad logo threatened more violence if Israel does not agree to a mass release of Palestinian prisoners. "Release the prisoners or the consequences will be grave," the statement warned.

But Islamic Jihad's top spokesman in Gaza, Nafez Azzam, distanced the group from the claim, saying: "We have no knowledge about the claim of responsibility ... and are still committed to this initiative and the truce."

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said peace efforts would continue but that a more deadly attack would torpedo the process. Israel's Cabinet approved guidelines Sunday for freeing prisoners, but said members of radical groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad would not be freed.

Israel holds some 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the new measures call for the release of only about 400 prisoners. Palestinian officials said the release must be expanded.