Israel struck by suicide bomb

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 12:21:47 +0100

 Wreckage of bus
The bomber struck during the morning rush hour

At least eight people have been killed and more than a dozen injured in a
suicide attack on a bus near the Israeli city of Haifa. 

It was the second suicide attack in Israel since the army launched its
massive military operation in the West Bank on 29 March to halt such

In response, Israel called off any further withdrawals from West Bank towns
because the anti-terror operation there was not yet complete. 

The explosion tore through the bus crowded with early morning commuters,
throwing bodies and wreckage along the road. 


You have no idea what it is to see such a thing, people are thrown in all

The bus, which was travelling towards Jerusalem, blew up at Yagur Junction,
about 10kms (six miles) south of the northern port city, at about 0715

"Suddenly I saw a part of the roof of the bus blowing up in the air. There
was wreckage everywhere, you could see people just falling out of the
windows," said Dan Jacobi, who was driving behind the bus when it exploded. 

Another eyewitness said he felt a huge blast during the attack. "I am afraid
to say the sight is awful," taxi driver Yitzhak Rottman, said. 

Mobile phone ringing 

The blast comes a day after Israel lost 13 reservists with another seven
injured in co-ordinated ambushes at a refugee camp in the West Bank town of

The force of the explosion lifted the bus off the ground for a few seconds. 

"It's a catastrophe. Shrapnel and bits are everywhere. You have no idea what
it is to see such a thing... people are thrown in all directions," an
eyewitness who identified himself as Motti told AP news agency. 

Rescue workers arrived moments later and covered several bodies lying on the
road with sheets. 

The busy main road was littered with personal belongings, including an olive
jacket normally worn by soldiers, a skullcap, identity papers and mobile

BBC correspondent James Reynolds said one of the phones was ringing when he
arrived at the scene. 

An official with the emergency services said that three of those injured
were rushed to hospital in serious condition. 

Israel's operation 

Israeli cabinet minister Dani Naveh said Wednesday's attack was proof of the
need for further Israeli action, which the government says is aimed at
destroying the infrastructure of terror groups. 

"We lost at least eight of our people this morning in Haifa, 13 of our
soldiers in Jenin yesterday, and it has emphasised why we need some more
time in order to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian
towns," Mr Naveh told the BBC. 

tbank_popup_map/pop_up_map.stm')> Enlarge image  Click
tbank_popup_map/pop_up_map.stm')> here for map of Israeli operation
But Palestinian official Ahmad Abd-al-Rahman said the suicide operations
would continue so long as Israel continues to occupy Palestinian territory. 

The Hamas militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon defied US calls for troop
withdrawals and vowed to continue the campaign. 

"This is a battle for survival of the Jewish people, for survival of the
state of Israel," Mr Sharon said in a televised address to the nation. 

The offensive was launched in response to a suicide bombing that killed 27
people celebrating Passover in a Jerusalem restaurant. 

 Mark Robinson cries during the funeral of his son Matnya, killed in Jenin
Mark Robinson's son Matnya was killed in Jenin

On Wednesday, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and
Russia urged Israel "to halt immediately" its military operations. 

The statement came after a meeting in Madrid between Colin Powell, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
representing the EU, and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. 

Jenin 'taken over' 

The Israeli military says it now controls Palestinian refugee areas in the
West Bank towns of Jenin and Nablus, apart from some remaining pockets of

Witnesses in the area say bulldozers are destroying homes and people have
been ordered to leave. 

Fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin refugee
camp has been the fiercest in Israel's latest military operation. 

Israel claims 150 Palestinians died in Jenin but Palestinians say the number
is far higher. Many Israeli soldiers have also been killed. 

Israeli sources said about 200 Palestinians, some of them armed, had
surrendered in Jenin. Palestinian sources said the chief of the Islamic
Jihad group there, Mahmud Tawalbeh, had been killed. 

Source: BBC online


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