TERRORISTS MURDER 12, WOUND 180 WITH BOMBS IN JERUSALEM
2.....Two Arab suicide terrorists and one car bomb killed 12 people
and wounded over 180 last night in downtown Jerusaelm.
took place near mid-night spreading carnage through Jerusalem's
crowded Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall and were followed by a massive
car bomb attack on nearby Kook Street, which apparently did not
cause many casualties.
The mall had
been packed with Saturday night crowd of mainly teenagers out for
the evening. The bomb scene was gruesome with overturned tables,
bloody chairs, and bodies and body parts strewn on the ground, in
one of the worst attacks in Jerusalem in months.
AP / Michael Freilich / World Committee for Justice and Peace
that the number of casualties would probably turn out to be similar
to those in the devastating Sbarro pizzeria attack in Jerusalem
and the Dolphin discotheque bombing in Tel Aviv several months ago,
when a total of 36 were killed.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat for the attack. "As
head of the Palestinian Authority, Arafat bears direct responsibility
for what happened today in Jerusalem," government spokesman
Avi Pazner said. Arafat has recently been charged with "crimes
against humanity" in an international court in Brussels.
The blasts were
so powerful that they shattered the windows of cars parked a block
Blood was splattered
across store fronts, and bits of flesh and metal bolts from the
explosives were strewn on the ground.
Patrons of cafes
huddled indoors, behind closed doors. A young man and woman sitting
in the corner of one cafe held on to each other. Teen-age girls
and boys were screaming and crying into mobile phones, talking to
their parents, trying to find their friends in the chaos.
sitting having coffee with my girlfriend," said Gideon, 25,
from Jerusalem, "when suddenly we heard an immense explosion.
The explosion was followed by yet a second one."
saw people without arms. I saw a person with their stomach
hanging open. I saw a 10-year-old-boy breathe his last breath.
I can't believe anybody would do anything like this."
Witness Yossi Mizrahi told Reuters
Yossi Mizrahi told Reuters: "I saw people without arms. I saw
a person with their stomach hanging open. I saw a 10-year-old-boy
breathe his last breath. I can't believe anybody would do anything
Photo: Michael Freilich / World Committee
for Justice and Peace
were lots of limbs and dead bodies," said Michael Perry, 37,
who ran out of a bar on the mall after hearing the back-to-back
blasts just before midnight. "I saw three dead and what looked
like the remains of the suicide bomber. It was just a lump of something,"
Eli Shetreet, 19, said he saw bodies being hurled in the air. "A
lot of people were crying, falling, and there was the smell of burning
hair," he said.
As police and
Magen David Adom officials raced to the scene in downtown Jerusalem
and began treating the wounded from the initial bombings, a car
bomb went off with a thunderous roar on Rehov Kook, just 40 meters
away from the site of the initial attacks.
reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was considering cutting
short his US visit and returning to Israel. Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer conferred immediately
after the attack with police Insp.-Gen. Shlomo Aharonishky. Peres
updated Sharon on the details of the atrocity.
of Arab barbarism
amid coffee tables and storefronts
In the minutes
after the attack, the scene in downtown Jerusalem looked like a
war zone, with scores of ambulances, police vans, and medics trying
desperately to treat the wounded, mostly teenagers.
just horrendous. I still hear the sound of the explosions in my
mind," said Rachel Levinson, 17, of Jerusalem.
the car bomb contained several mortar shells.
It was not immediately
clear how many people were hurt by the car bomb.
Overseas callers please dial 972
Hospital, Ein Kerem
Hadassah-University Hospital, Mount
Shaare Zedek Hospital
Bikur Holim Hospital
Half an hour
after the attacks, police and border police were evacuating everyone
from the downtown area, and streets which had been previously filled
with people out for a night's entertainment were almost completely
emptied. However, on the ground the bodies of those killed were
still in view. The special Hessed Shel Emet squad could be seen
collecting body parts at the scene.
the bombs the two suicide bombers had carried on their bodies contained
screws and nails to add to the carnage. Police warned of other possible
car bombs in the area, and worked feverishly to evacuate onlookers
from the scene.
In the United
States, President Bush issued a strong statement from his retreat
at Camp David, Maryland.
horrified and saddened to learn of the bombings that took place
tonight in Jerusalem. I strongly condemn them as acts of murder
than no person of conscience can tolerate and no cause can ever
behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest sympathy and
condolences to the families of the victims, to my friend, Prime
Minister Sharon and to all the people of Israel," the president
Cafes and restaurants
which had previously been crowded with customers closed down quickly,
even as emergency crews raced by to reach the scene of the attacks.
Road was a sea of ambulances, their lights flashing as they carried
the wounded to nearby Bikur Holim Hospital and the city's other
hospitals, where emergency staff raced in to help treat the wounded.
police have released a list containing ten names of those
who perished in last night's terror attack:
Weinstein, 14, from the community of Givon Hahadasha,
north of the capital
Yuri Korganov, 20, from Ma'ale Adumim, east of the
Sgt. Nir Hafsadie, 19, from the Gilo neighborhood.
will be buried at 15:30 at Mt. Herzl military cemetery.
Guy Vaknin, 19, from the Har Nof neighborhood
Moshe Yadid Levy, 19, from the Gilo neighborhood
Yosef El Ezra, 18, from the Gonen neighborhood
Israel Ya'akov Danino, 17, from the Har Nof neighborhood
Golan Turgeman, 15, from the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood
Asaf Avitan, 15, from the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood
20, from the capital's Beit Hakerem neighborhood. Dahan will
be buried at 14:30 at Har Hamenuchot cemetery.