and Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

Two people were killed and at least 35 were wounded when a car bomb exploded next to the central bus station in Hadera. The Islamic militant group Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Dudu Harel, police chief in the city of Hadera, said the two bodies were believed to be those of the attackers who carried out the car bombing.

Hours previously, a truck driver blew himself up in a separate attack against an Israeli army outpost in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Radio said the Hadera explosion occurred next to a public bus and near a soccer field full of boys playing, but none of the children was hurt. All the wounded have been evacuated to Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera.

A spokesman of the ambulance service Magen David Adom said most of the cases involved shock and damage to the ears. He said that the incident was a relatively mild one.

Police are combing the area for additional explosives. A police source said the attack had the potential to be far worse.

The latest attacks occurred one week after a suicide bomber killed himself and five others and injured more than 100 at a shopping mall in the Israeli seaside town of Netanya.

Suicide truck bombing

Also Friday, a suicide truck bomber blew himself up near an Israeli army outpost in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli tanks retaliated by destroying a Palestinian police station, injuring four policemen.

The Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility, saying the Palestinian truck driver who died in the blast blew himself up trying to "avenge Israeli crimes" committed during the eight-month-old revolt.

The violence all but drowned out a call for a cease-fire issued Tuesday night by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Palestinian leaders have dismissed his proposal as a propaganda ploy.

The truck, packed with explosives, blew up after it came under Israeli fire on a road connecting the heavily fortified Jewish settlement of Netzarim to Karni, a Gaza crossing to Israel.

The Israeli army said the driver of the truck had ignored instructions to stop and instead sped toward the outpost. It said soldiers fired warnings shots before shooting directly at the truck.

Palestinian officials said an Israeli tank shell hit the vehicle.

The army said no soldiers were hurt in the explosion, which sent a huge column of smoke billowing over the area.

The bomber, identified as Mujahed Hussein Abu Nasser, a Palestinian in his 20s from a Gaza Strip refugee camp, left a videotaped message that was distributed to news organizations.

"I want to avenge the killing of our martyrs by the criminal Sharon," he said while cradling a copy of the Koran in his lap, a Kalashnikov assault rifle leaning on the wall behind him.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, told Reuters: "This is what we call a balance of terror."

He said the attack marked the anniversary of what he called a "victory for the resistance" when Israeli forces pulled out of southern Lebanon on May 24, 2000, after 22 years of occupation.

After the blast, Israeli tanks opened fire on a nearby Palestinian police post, destroying it and slightly injuring four policemen, Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli army said it "removed" the Palestinian post only after police fired first at Israeli soldiers.

Witnesses said Israeli forces then thrust about 700 meters (yards) into a Palestinian-controlled area and cut off the Palestinians' only north-south road through the heart of the Gaza Strip.