Two Babies Reported Dead, Over 50 Injured

Photo: Israel Television

Jerusalem----March 2.....Updated: 11:45 p.m. - An Arab suicide bomber detonated a powerful explosion a few minutes ago in a religious section of Jerusalem. The bombing in the Beit Yisrael section near downtown Jerusalem was at first thought to have been a car bomb.

Israel TV Channel 1 is on the scene reporting that over 50 people have been rushed to hospital.

Many of the Israeli terror attack victims were taken to Bikor Holim Hospital.

The barbaric terror attack occurred at approximately 7:10 p.m. in the Beit Yisrael section, a Haredi neighborhood adjoining Mea She'arim. Most of the casualties were said to be Jews returning from synagogues at the conclusion of Shabbat. It is presently a scene of chaos as fire, police and army sappers inspect an area littered with body parts, twisted metal and blood stained clothing. An empty baby carriage sits at the scene with the charred and bloody remains of the infant laying on the ground.

The site of the blast was the corner of Beit Yisrael and Haim Ozer streets, the scene of an attempted bombing last year that was averted by an alert passerby.

Photo: AP

There are reports of Arab snipers shooting at ambulances that are racing to the scene of the attack.
Police and security forces have closed off the area of the terror bombing as they search for booby trap secondary bombs. Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy reported that the Jerusalem police are and will remain on the highest state of alert.
``From a check of the cars, it seems it wasn't a car bomb, but a suicide bomber who approached a group of people,'' said Levy.

``I came right out (on the street) and saw a car on fire, the building next to it was also on fire,'' said witness Yitzhak Weinberger, 22.

Firefighters hosed down a smoking car and rescue workers carried away the wounded on stretchers. The blast occurred as observant Jews were leaving synagogues at the end of the sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

In addition to the terrorist, at least nine people were murdered, including a 1-year-old child, according to hospital officials and Levy. More than 40 people were injured, the officials said.

``This has nothing to do with warfare, this has nothing to do with national liberation, this has to do with the murder of innocent Jews, coming back from their evening prayers,'' ``The State of Israel knows how to defend the people of Israel, and will do so.''

- Israeli Government Spokesman Dore Gold

Israel security forces have been on high alert throughout the day due to intelligence reports pointing to further Arab suicide bombings throughout the country. Israeli police and army roadblocks have been set up throughout all major residential and commercial areas. Yassar Arafat's Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades have taken responsibility for the terror attack. In addition to the Jerusalem attack, one policeman was shot dead by an Arab sniper and 6 mortars have fallen into southern Israel. Hizbolleh fired anti-aircraft shells over the Northern border. The country's Northern region is presently on high alert.

Photo: Reuters

In Washington, the Bush administration responded to the terror attack saying that Arafat and the Palestinian Authority should do ``everything possible'' to stop ``the terrorists responsible for these criminal acts,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement. ``The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this terrorist outrage,'' Boucher said. ``Such murder of innocent civilians cannot be justified and can only harm the interests and aspirations of the Palestinian people in progress toward a better future.''

A wounded child struggling to stay alive Photo: AP

Most Israeli's are now witnessing scenes of barbarism and horror on national TV, with red police and ambulance lights lighting up their screens, several black body bags can be seen on the ground.
Many Israeli's are not shocked by tonight's deadly terror attack in Jerusalem, rather a firm sense of resolve and anger has taken hold throughout the nation to find the Arab terrorists and to prevent future terror attacks at all costs.