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Jerusalem Targeted in Bus Bombing   2003-08-20 09:45:26

Jerusalem Children Targeted in Bus Bombing

Bus #2-Jerusalem Aug 18, 2003
Even the hot August sun cannot erase the chill of last night in the hearts of Israelis. On Tuesday, some went to the ancient Western Wall to pray. On Tuesday night at 9:15 p.m. their lives and those of their families were changed. Experienced rescue workers were shocked to see baby strollers, dolls, and the bodies of infants and children strewn around the shattered bus.

He had never been so choked up by an attack and he had seen many, one rescuer told a reporter for Israel Radio Channel 2. He saw a tiny baby picked up in one hand and handed over to the ambulance staff. [The baby, one month old, is not wounded but remains at the hospital: His parents have not yet been found.]

An 8-month old baby girl was operated on, but did not survive. Her parents have not been found. An 11-month old baby is among the dead. At least 4 children are dead, and 40 more among the injured in the deadly suicide attack which killed at least 20 people. Of the more than 110 wounded, 51 remain hospitalized, 2 in critical condition, 12 in serious condition.

Families lay side by side in the emergency room as all Israel is immobilized by the radio and TV reports, by the pictures of bloody children and the overwhelming image of increasing number of bodies lying side by side in white bags on the traffic circle near the broken shell of the bus.

The killer served as an imam [teacher/religious leader] at a mosque, a teacher at a school, in Hebron.

The terrorist, Raad Abd el-Hamid Maseq, was a twenty-nine-year-old father of two, ages two and three, and a student at Hebron's An-Najah University. He was a Hamas activist.

When he entered Jerusalem and how, is not yet known, but the attack was certainly pre-planned. Claiming revenge for this or that Israeli arrest or preemptive killing is a PR tactic, an attempt to justify the unjustifiable murder of children. It is nearly never true. The attack is ready to go: They wait for the first chance.

The bus started out about 8:30 p.m. from the Western Wall plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem. It made it's way on the busy Road 1, turning off into Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood on its way to HarNof on the western edge of Jerusalem. The bus was full on this summer night, mostly with religious passengers.

The bomber saw who was on the bus. It was obviously full of families and children and could not even pick up the boys from a Bar Mitzvah party at the previous stop. The terrorist detonated a 5-kilogram device packed with ball-bearings on a crowded bus returning from prayers at the Western Wall.

Murdered by a man named Maseq who never knew them, only a few [9 as of noon Wednesday] of the those slaughtered and maimed in this ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem have been identified at the National Center for Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv. Among the first victims identified are Lilach Kardi, 22, Menahem Leibel, 24, Shmuel Zargari, 11 months old - all from Jerusalem. Would that the killer would remain anonymous and their names be remembered!

Hamas in Hebron released a videotape showing a man who named himself as Raed Abdel-Hamid Maseq and said he would carry out the suicide bombing to avenge Israel's killing of one of the group's members. The terrorist to whom he referred, Mohammed Sidr, was killed in a shoot-out when the IDF went to arrest him. He died when the bomb factory around him blew up! He planned their attacks and armed them. He just sent people to die... he wasn't supposed to be killed.

Two buses were hit by the blast. One was completely devastated, while the other one immediately behind had windows blown out. A private car beside the bus was damaged and the driver also injured.

This was only the worst of several attacks carried out during the so-called Hudna. The only hands tied by that inexplicable word were Israel's. Even so, the IDF and security services succeeded in preventing a number of attacks, including suicide bombings in Tel Aviv, coastal cities and in Jerusalem.

Each time a different group or several of Arafat's groups claim responsibility and it's always a response if we don't catch them first. If we do, they add another one to the list.

Hamas said it was behind the Ariel attack, saying it was in response to the deaths of three of its activists during an IDF raid in Nablus. The Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the Rosh Ha'ayin attack.

Created by RKnews. Last modified on 2003-08-20 13:23:44