updated 9/29/2006 7:38:15 AM ET 2006-09-29T11:38:15

An explosion Friday in a car at a major intersection in the Israeli city of Rishon Letzion killed one person and wounded three, Israeli rescue services said. Police said the explosion appeared to be the work of criminals and not terrorists.

Yeruham Mendola, a spokesman for the Israeli rescue services, said one person was killed in the explosion, another was moderately injured and two others were lightly injured.

The blast in Rishon Letzion, a large city south of Tel Aviv, occurred on Friday afternoon as Israelis were doing last-minute shopping before the Jewish Sabbath began on Friday.

Cars at the intersection and buildings as far as 200 yards away were damaged.

2 days before Yom Kippur
Police at the scene said the bomb was under the driver’s seat and only the driver was killed in the attack, indicating criminal intent, rather than terrorism. Suicide bombers traditionally carry out attacks in crowded areas aimed at causing the highest number of casualties.

The explosion took place two days before the beginning of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Israel traditionally tightens security efforts ahead of major Jewish holidays, when Palestinian suicide bombers have often carried out attacks.

Israeli security forces were planning to enforce a closure on the West Bank starting Friday afternoon to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel until after the Yom Kippur holiday ends Monday night.

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