JERUSALEM – Israeli soldiers early Tuesday destroyed the house of the Palestinian who blew himself up in the Israeli city of Netanya this week, wounding dozens, Palestinians said.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
The bomber, identified by the militant Islamic Jihad as Rami Ghanem, 20, set off explosives strapped to his body at a sidewalk cafe in the seaside resort city on Sunday, wounding 49 people.
In a statement a few hours after the bombing, Islamic Jihad said the attack was "Palestine's gift to the heroic people of Iraq." The movement also said it had sent homicide bombers to Iraq to kill American and British soldiers.
Islamic Jihad is the smaller of two violent Islamic movements that have claimed responsibility for dozens of homicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis.
Witnesses said that before daybreak Tuesday, Israeli forces entered the village of Dir Rasoun, near the town of Tulkarem on the line between Israel and the West Bank, and destroyed the Ghanem family home.
In recent months, Israel has been implementing a policy of destroying the homes of militants as a deterrent measure. Palestinians and human rights groups complain that the destructions punish innocent relatives.
In 30 months of Palestinian-Israeli violence, homicide bombers have struck Netanya six times. On March 27, 2001, a bomber blew up a Netanya hotel lobby during a Jewish Passover meal, killing 29, the deadliest of the 88 homicide bombings since the current violence erupted in September, 2000.
Netanya is at Israel's narrowest point, where the line with the West Bank is just nine miles from the Mediterranean coast. Last year Israel began building a security fence to keep Palestinian attackers out of the country, but work has proceeded slowly.
On Monday an Islamic Jihad leader said the group would step up attacks in Israel in solidarity with the people of Iraq, but a leader of another militant group -- the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, linked to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement -- said it would suspend attacks against Israel while the war in Iraq continues.
However, other leaders of the same group said they would continue targeting Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.