23 Murdered by Bomb Attacks


Israeli medics rush a wounded man to an ambulance after a double terror attack near the old bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday Jan. 5, 2003. The terror attacks were carried out by two bombers who blew themselves up killing at least 22. Some where in front of the Chinese restaurant and other stores in the pedestrian mall.

Eli Dasa / Reuters

ISRAEL: Three Chinese are among the 23 people killed and 6 are seriously wounded among the 100 injured by Palestinian terrorists that struck in a popular neighborhood of Tel Aviv with coffee shops and restaurants. Mostly foreign visitors and workers were among the dead and wounded. Two people died in Ichilov Hospital on the operating table. According to Israeli officials, two terrorists, ages 19 and 20, were wearing around 30 pounds of powerful explosives packed with screws, bolts and nails to inflict the most pain and suffering on the victims.

One terrorist blew himself up near the “McChina.” a well known Chinese restaurant, said a witness. The explosion ripped through the structure and blasted glass and shrapnel into people in the area.

Moshe, another eyewitness, said "A few seconds after the first explosion, there was another explosion. I was hurled to the floor. I saw many bodies on the ground and I ran away." In the immediate aftermath of the attack, several people made stretchers by pulling off doors and laying victims on them. The attack took place during evening rush hour in an area populated with mostly foreign workers.

The hospitals are reporting that children are among the victims in the terror attack and foreigners from several countries including China are also being treated for injuries.The CRI reports that Fan Jianmin, Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy said that two of the three Chinese murdered in the attack are Li Peizhong, 41-year-old construction worker, and Zhang Minmin, a business woman from East China’s Zhejiang Province. The embassy also identified one of the three Chinese victims as Guo Aiping.

Reporter Arrested by Palestinian Authority

Al Jazeera television reported that Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A signed statement was shown on the network that identified the terrorists as being from Nablus. Arafat’s security forces have in turn arrested al Jazeera correspondent, Seif al Din Shahin in the Gaza Strip for reporting on the claim.

Reportedly, the journalist has since been sent to a Palestinian controlled detention center for interrogation.

As Arafat publicly tells the world that he denounces the terrorist bomb attacks on Sunday, somehow the reporter managed to not only discover the truth of Arafat’s group being responsible but was able to release the information to other reporters which has been globally disseminated.

If not for the Al Jazeera correspondent, news of Fatah’s involvement may not have been discovered as Arafat has strongly denounced the attack as he does with all attacks that point to his organization’s terrorist sub-division.

Israel says the terror attack "has earned the Palestinian Authority stamp of approval and is a direct result of persistent incitement coming out of the Palestinian Authority and its refusal to reign in the terrorists in its midst."

Army Radio reported that Effi Eitam, National Religious Party chairman, has demanded that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat be expelled from the country immediately.

A wounded woman is given first aid at the scene of a double homicide bombing in downtown Tel Aviv Israel Sunday Jan. 5, 2003.

Eitan Hess-Ashkenazi / AP Photo

Double Palestinian Terror Attacks and Arafat’s Double Talk

The double bombings that murdered many on Sunday, coupled with Arafat’s duplicitous behavior and remarks, has caused Israel to prevent Arafat’s officials from participating in talks to be taken place next week in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Israeli cabinet voted against Palestinian participation because of the belief that terrorists should not gain from their attacks.

Rob Prosor of the Israeli foreign ministry told BBC Radio that, "The logic is that the Palestinian leadership who is inciting terrorism on a daily basis and indoctrinating a whole society should not receive as a prize all these conferences."

The cabinet has now drawn up new restrictions for Palestinian activities due to the attacks, including the closure of three Islamic universities in the West Bank.

Israel has also stepped up military action against terrorist interests in the Gaza Strip. Only hours after the homicide bombings, Israeli Airforce gunships were sent out with missiles and destroyed a suspected weapons factory disguised as a metal workshop. In Ramallah, undercover Israeli troops arrested a senior Islamic Jihad member. A total of 24 arrests of terrorist members have taken place so far, at least four of those arrested are perpetrators of deadly attacks that have taken place over the last several weeks.

A spokesperson for the IDF told reporters that Israeli defense forces had disrupted more than 150 attempted attacks in the past month.

– Statement by U.S. President Bush

January 5, 2003

Today terrorists struck again in Israel, murdering and injuring scores of civilians in Tel Aviv. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. It is a despicable act of murder, and I express my condolences to the government and people of Israel and especially to the families of the victims.

Secretary Powell has already spoken to Prime Minister Sharon to convey the condolences of the American people. The United States remains determined to continue our efforts toward peace in the Middle East, a goal that the terrorists seek to destroy.

All who genuinely seek peace in the region must join in the effort to stop terror. The United States is determined to continue the global fight against terrorism and against the terrorist organizations that conduct operations such as the murders in Israel today.