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The May 7 suicide bombing attack on a Tel Aviv pool hall is an atrocity that violates the most basic principles that the human rights movement stands for, Human Rights Watch said today. According to news reports, the Palestinian armed group Hamas claimed responsibility for the bombing, which killed fifteen Israeli civilians.

Yet again, Hamas has committed a deliberate and horrific act of violence against civilians, in direct violation of international humanitarian law," said Hanny Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "Suicide bombing flouts the very human rights standards that Palestinians have rightfully called on the international community to help uphold. These deliberate killings of civilians must stop."

The bombing at the Sheffield Club pool hall in the suburb of Rishon Letzion resumed a string of attacks on ordinary civilians by armed Palestinian groups in recent months. Hamas has claimed responsibility for a number of these attacks, including the March 27 suicide bombing in Netanya that killed twenty-eight people at a Passover meal.

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