||Challenging myths and presenting facts about
WALL BUS BOMB: Shattering life, shattering hope
|London - published on 10 September
Beyond Images Ref: 68
Hamas: rejecting Israel’s right
Hamas rejects Israel’s right to exist within any borders.
Since its founding in the 1980s, Hamas has been committed to
the elimination of Israel and its replacement by an Islamic
state. This is stated repeatedly by its leaders, by its website,
and by its ideologists and “religious” mentors.
Since 1989 Hamas has launched hundreds of attacks against Israeli
civilians in pursuit of its goals.
On 19 August 2003 a Hamas suicide bomber killed 22 Jews on
a bus travelling away from the Western Wall in Jerusalem in
an act that shocked even emergency workers and conflict-hardened
This Briefing describes the attack and its consequences.
Bus Number 2: a popular route for prayer at the Western
Bus Number 2 travels through the heart of Jerusalem, to and
from the Western Wall, every day. The bus passes through many
strictly orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods. It is perhaps the most
convenient way for devout Jews to reach the Western Wall, the
most holy site in Judaism, to pray there. The bus is often extremely
Hamas bombs families of worshippers
On the evening of Tuesday 19 August 2003 a Hamas suicide bomber,
from the West Bank town of Hebron, boarded a Number 2 bus as
it was departing from the precinct near the Western Wall. The
bus was filled with worshippers, including many women, children
and families. The bomber was dressed as a religious Jew.
He made his way to the central part of the bus (an area including
several baby-buggies). As the bus was driving through the neighbourhood
of Beit Yisrael, he detonated his bomb.
22 passengers on the bus were killed, most instantly. Body-parts
were blown dozens of metres away from the scene, and many victims’
bodies were unrecognisable. 134 people – passengers, pedestrians,
and drivers of nearby vehicles - were injured, many seriously.
The bomb had been packed with ball-bearings to maximise the
suffering of the victims.
Rescue workers described the attack as the most gruesome in
three years of the Palestinian intifada: “There were small
babies bleeding on the ground. One of the [rescue] workers was
leaning over an infant, no more than 15 months old, giving mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation…. it was hopeless” (Israeli rescue
worker, quoted in Ha’aretz 20 August 2003).
Virtually all the victims were from ultra-orthodox Jewish communities
in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak (outside Tel-Aviv) and Netanya (to the
North) and included:-