Fourth Netanya Victim Dies Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Anya Lipshitz, the 50-year-old Netanya grandmother who desperately tried to hang on her to life, has died, the fourth casualty in last night's suicide bombing attack by an Arab terrorist.
Another bomber tried to attack in Samaria.
The other dead victims were identified as Julia Weltshin, 31, of Netanya, and Rachel Ben-Abu and Nofar Horowitz, both of them 16-year-old girls from Tel Aviv.
Anya Lipshitz' daughter, 26-year-old daughter Margarita Sobersky suffered serious burns and is being treated at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah, while Sobersky's three-year-old daughter Lial is being treated for burns at Schneider Medical Center in Petach Tikvah.
Forty of the 88 who were injured still are in hospitals, and two are in serious condition.
The 18-year-old suicide bomber from the Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled city of Tulkarm, several miles east of Netanya, set off his suicide charge at about 6:30 p.m. at a pedestrian crossing opposite the mall.
Another attack miraculously was prevented when a suicide bomber prematurely blew up explosive gas balloons in his stolen truck after he entered the Samarian community of Shavei Shomron. The driver is being treated for injuries. He easily passed through the main gate in his truck, which had Israeli license plates, when he followed another vehicle which entered the community. The Netanya suicide bombing was the second such attack in the five months following the Sharm el-Sheikh accords, which called on the PA to dismantle the terrorist structure and Israel to free Arab terrorists and prisoners and turn over to the PA five large Arab cities. The second city for which the PA took responsibility was Tulkarm, the home of the Netanya bomber.
The attack took place several blocks away from the Maccabiah sport games. Police estimate he set off his 10-kilogram (22-pound) suicide belt on the street after realizing he would not be able to get past guards at the mall, which previously has been attacked by a suicide bomber.
"I was only 10 meters from the entrance to the mall when I heard an explosion," said Arik Bochnik and his two daughters. "After that, there was absolute quiet as if the world stood still. We saw parts of bodies everywhere." The father began to look for his third child and found her among the injured.
One of the injured was a 22-year-old Ariel ben-Harush, a Canadian who is visiting his mother for three weeks and wants to move to Israel. "I am proud to be a Jew and what these people [terrorists] do to us is awful and never will leave me."
JERUSALEM -- A suicide bomber blew himself up among a group of teens near a shopping mall in the seaside city of Netanya on Tuesday, killing himself and two others in the second such attack since a truce was declared five months ago.
About 30 people were wounded, two seriously, police said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from a Palestinian militant group. The previous bombing was carried out by Islamic Jihad, which said in a statement after Tuesday's attack that it remained committed to the cease-fire.
The blast went off shortly before 7 p.m. near the Sharon Mall in Netanya. Police said a preliminary investigation indicated the bomber blew himself up among a group of teenagers crossing a busy intersection.
Police said they believe there is a link between the attack near the mall and an apparent car bomb explosion some 30 minutes earlier in the Jewish settlement of Shavei Shomron in the West Bank, near Netanya. Police said they have a suspect in the car bombing in custody, and that he belongs to Islamic Jihad.
Netanya is at Israel's narrowest point, nine miles from the West Bank. The city has been a frequent target of Palestinian bombers, but the number of attacks has dropped sharply in the past year, with completion of a section of Israel's separation barrier in the area.
The mall has been a target for suicide bombers in the past. On May 18, 2001, a bomber blew himself up at the mall, killing five Israelis.
The last suicide bombing in Netanya was on May 19, 2002, when three Israelis were killed on a street not far from the mall. In March 2002, a suicide attacker blew himself up in a hotel dining room during a ritual Seder meal at the start of Passover in Netanya, killing 29 people.
Tuesday's attack was the first suicide bombing in Israel since Feb. 25, when a bomber blew himself up in Tel Aviv, killing five Israelis.
The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, condemned the bombing. "We understand that those who carried out this attack want to sabotage the efforts being exerted to have a smooth and peaceful disengagement from Gaza and a revival of the peace process," he said.
A suicide bomber blew himself up at the Sharon mall in Netanya early this evening.
The Sharon shopping mall in Netanya was attacked by an Arab suicide bomber early this evening. Initial reports say that two persons have been killed and thirty wounded in the attack, some critically.
The area near the mall has been closed to traffic. Ambulances are evacuating the wounded to local hospitals.
The bomber, who apparently was wearing an explosive belt or carrying a bag of explosives, was stopped before actually entering the mall.
Islamic Jihad has taken credit for the bombing. Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas met with Islamic Jihad leaders in Syria last week.
The Sharon mall was attacked by a suicide bomber a few years ago. In the previous attack, the bomber was also stopped by security guards before entering mall. Five persons were killed in that attack.
Police are checking whether the bomber came from the city of Tulkarem, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and located just a few kilometers east of Netanya. IDF forces withdrew from Tulkarem a few months ago and handed the city over to PA armed forces.
Israel conditioned the handover on the PA taking action to fight terrorism and disarming terror groups operating from the territory it controls.
In an earlier incident, a car bomb exploded near a soccer field in the community of Shavei Shomron, located a few kilometers east of Tulkarem. Nobody was injured in that attack.
It is still too early to tell whether there was any connection between the two attacks.
(IsraelNN.com) At this early stage following the suicide bombing attack at Netanya's Sharon Shopping Center, police are not ruling out the possibility that the car bomb explosion in Shavei Shomron earlier this evening was a diversionary tactic.
At present, police and army officials report the terrorist entered the Shomron community, running the sentry post checkpoint, driving a white stolen Israel Military Industries vehicle. The vehicle was laden with three liquid propane gas cylinders, two of which exploded.
The terrorist, who is still alive, was tied to the steering wheel, prompting authorities to believe he was forced to drive the vehicle into the Jewish community.