A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself near a major road used by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the southern Gaza Strip (search) on Tuesday, wounding at least six Israelis. A Palestinian bystander also was hurt, according to Palestinian rescue officials.

The Hamas (search) militant group claimed responsibility in an electronic message sent to The Associated Press, identifying the bomber as Omar Tabach, 21, from a village outside the nearby Khan Younis (search) refugee camp.

The attack occurred shortly after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (search) arrived in Gaza in a bid to persuade Palestinian militants to halt their attacks on Israelis.

Israeli rescue workers who responded to the attack said six people were wounded, two seriously.

The blast took place along the road from the Kissufim crossing on the Israel border to the Gush Katif (search) group of Jewish settlements inside Gaza. The road passes near the main north-south Palestinian road in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have carried out several attacks on border crossings in recent months. Last week, attackers killed six Israeli civilians at the Karni border crossing.