Terrorist Posing as a Passenger
up City Bus
Young Israelis light candles at a makeshift
memorial on the site where sixteen people were killed yesterday
when a Palestinian bomber blew up a bus full of passengers,
in Haifa March 6, 2003. Three students from the nearby high
school were among the dead.
Elias / Reuters
school students were traveling on a city bus last Wednesday afternoon
in the Carmeliya neighborhood of Haifa when a powerful explosion
ripped apart the students and others passengers on the bus. A
terrorist blended in with the other passengers on the bus and
had been sitting in the rear of the bus when he ignited a bomb
he had that murdered 16 people and wounded more than 50, at least
22 of them seriously.
which took place on the city’s main Moriah Boulevard near the
Carmel Center at 2:17 P.M on Wednesday, turned the number 37 bus
into a charred wreck and scattered bodies along the road.
the bomb was "medium-sized," laden with metal shrapnel
and strapped to the bomber’s body. Homocide bombers often add
nails and bolts to the explosive devices, in order to maximize
the number of injuries. Northern District Commander Yaakov Borovsky
estimated that the bomber did not get on the bus at the last possible
stop before the blast. Police are also trying to find out who
transported the bomber to the location of the attack, and said
that there had not been any specific warnings of an attack in
the Haifa area.
of Rambam Medical Center said that among the wounded it was treating
were five people in serious or critical condition; three other
people died of their wounds shortly after arrival at the hospital.
Carmel Medical Center said that it was treating 23 people, including
five in serious condition. A total of 16 have now died from the
terror attack on the bus.
follows a two-month lull in Palestinian terrorist bombings. The
last such attack took place in January when 23 people were killed
in a neighborhood in Tel Aviv in a double homicide bombing. But
security officials had warned in recent days that they faced 50
active warnings of planned and impending attacks. Security sources
said that more than 40 attacks had been foiled during the month
of February alone.
that it would respond to the attack, but not at a scale that would
disrupt any U.S. preparations for a possible attack on Iraq.
lauds attack; PMO blames Arafat
Rantisi, a spokesman for Hamas who is based in the Gaza Strip,
praised the attack but did not claim responsibility. "We
will not stop our resistance," he said. "We are not
going to give up in the face of the daily killing" of Palestinians.
Minister’s Office said that it held Palestinian Authority Chairman
Yasser Arafat responsible for the attack, which comes only days
after the establishment of a new rightist government under Ariel
Sharon. David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office,
told Haaretz that, "The attack in Haifa is yet another Palestinian
bloodletting of innocent Israeli civilians. Israel will not tolerate
this terror, and will continue to take the necessary steps to
Terrorists will not prevail
George W. Bush denounced the suicide attack, saying terrorists
would not prevail in the region. "The president condemns
in the strongest terms today’s attack on innocents in Israel,"
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "The message to
the terrorists is their efforts will not be successful. We will
continue to pursue the path of peace in the Middle East, and he
[Bush] urges all to condemn today’s attack," Fleischer said.
Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen condemned the attack as "a
horrible act of terrorism." He told Israel Radio that the
only way to characterize the attack was as "a cynical act
of pre-mediated murder and nothing else," which served "no
political purpose." France, Britain, Germany and Russia also
condemned the attack in the strongest terms, IDF Army Radio reported.