Jerusalem bus 18 suicide bombings refer to two consecutive suicide attacks made by Hamas suicide bombers in Jerusalem in 1996. A total of 45 Israelis and others were killed.
The attack was carried out at the direction of Mohammed Deif
, using explosives prepared by Adnan Awul
On the morning of February 25
, a suicide bomber exploded himself on Bus number 18 on the main Jaffa Road
near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station
. 26 victims were killed; 48 injured.
The victims :
- Daniel Biton, 42
- Yitzhak Elbaz, 57
- Boris Sharpolinsky, 64
- Semion Trakashvili, 60
- Yitzhak Yakhnis, 54
- Peretz Gantz, 61
- Anatoly Kushnirov, 36
- Anatoly Kushnirov, 37
- Masuda Amar, 59
- Swietlana Gelezniak, 32
- Celine Zaguri, 19
- Sgt. Yonatan Barnea, 20
- St-Sgt. Gavriel Krauss, 24
- St.-Sgt. Gadi Shiloni, 22
- Cpl. Moshe Reuven, 19
- St.-Sgt. Maj. (res.) Arye Barashi, 39
- Cpl. Iliya Nimotin, 19
- Cpl. Merav Nahum, 19
- Sgt. Sharon Hanuka, 19;
- Arik Gaby, 16 (student in pre-army boarding school) - all of Jerusalem.
- Navon Shabo, 22, of Bnei Brak
- Michael Yerigin, 16, of Kibbutz Maabarot
- Matthew Eisenfeld, 25 of the United States
- Sara Duker, 23, of the United States
- Wael Kawasmeh, 23, of East Jerusalem, later died of his wounds
- Ira Yitzhak Weinstein, 53, of Maaleh Adumim, later died of his wounds
On the morning of March 3
, 1996, a suicide bomber exploded again in the same bus line, this time killing 19 Israelis and others, and wounding 7 more.
The victims :
- Maya Birkan, 59
- Naima Zargary, 66
- Gavriel Shamashvili, 43
- Shemtov Sheikh, 63
- Anna Shingeloff, 36
- Raya Daushvili, 55
- George Yonan, 38 - all of Jerusalem;
- Sarina Angel, 45, of Beit Jalla
- Gidi Taspanish, 23, a tourist from Ethiopia
- Valerian Krasyon, 44, a tourist from Romania
- Dominic Lunca, 29
- Daniel Patenka, 33
- Marian Grefan, 40
- Mirze Gifa, 39
- Dimitru Kokarascu, 43 - all Romanian workers.
- Imar Ambrose, 51, of Romania, died on March 9.
- Sgt. Yoni Levy, 21, of Jerusalem
- Sgt. Haim Amedi, 19, of Jerusalem
- Senior NCO Uzi Cohen, 54, border policeman of Jerusalem.
Wave of attacks
These two bombings week after week came in a period of attacks which included the French Hill
neighborhood attack, a suicide bombing in Ashkelon
and a lethal terrorist attack near Dizengoff
centre in Tel Aviv
. The high number of Israeli civilians killed (more than 60 in total) had a major impact on the Israeli public and it is said to have largely influenced the Israeli elections in May.
The attacks also came in the midst of the Purim holiday. The second bus 18 bombing a day before Purim and the Dizengoff bombing on the eve of the holiday.
Ongoing Legal Action
The families of United States victims Matthew Eisenfeld and Sarah Duker sued Iran
for backing the attack, and won a US$327 million judgment in 2000. The Clinton Administration
then blocked the families' efforts to seize certain Iranian assets in the United States
. As of 2006 collection efforts continue through legal process. The families, together with the family of another United States citizen killed in the same attack, now seek as much as US$900 million from Iran. In 2006 an Italian
court domesticated the US court ruling, and temporarily froze Iranian assets. The plaintiffs have stated that they intend to pursue Iran through other European Union