'How Could A Mother Send Her Son To Die?'
July 7, 2008
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - A 17-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up in downtown Jerusalem at midday on Tuesday, killing himself and wounding five people.
It happened a short distance from the busy street where several deadly attacks have taken place over the last year.
This was the third attack on Tuesday alone.
Just hours earlier, Shlomo Odesar, 60, and his brother Mordechai,Odesar, 52, were killed by Palestinian gunmen when they entered the Palestinian village of Jamain near Nablus, an army spokesman said.
Security sources said that the two, who live in a nearby settlement, were truck drivers selling diesel fuel to a cement factory in Jamain.
The area is under Israeli security control, and while Israelis are allowed to enter, it is not recommended. According to radio reports, Palestinian sources said two masked men approached the Israelis and opened fire on them.
The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade (part of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction) claimed responsibility for the double murder.
The Jerusalem suicide attack was the first in the city in a month. Several weeks ago, back-to-back suicide bombings prompted Israel to take control of most Palestinian Authority cities in the West Bank.
Alice Haroush, 70, lives in an apartment above the tiny Yemenite Falafel Center restaurant where the teenage bomber detonated his charge. Shattered glass lay on the ground outside the charred storefront, as cleanup crews looked for evidence and bits of flesh. A faint smell of smoke hung in the air.
"I heard a mighty blast... I jumped from my place," Haroush said. Two of Haroush's grandchildren, who live in Brooklyn and arrived from the U.S. on a visit on Monday, had just left their grandmother's house.
"I was looking from the balcony, they had just gone around [the corner], boom, I didn't know what it was," Haroush said standing outside the courtyard that leads to her apartment.
Turning to an Arab man who was cleaning up after the attack, "There is a piece of flesh there of your terrorist," she said pointing to a singed piece of "flesh" five feet away that looked like it could have been part of the terrorist's scalp.
"He was in pieces here," she said. "How can a mother send her child to die? A Jewish mother would send her son to die? She is laughing on the television, he is going to die, and they are laughing."
Families of suicide bombers usually express their pride at having a son die what they consider to be a "martyr's" death.
Jerusalem Police Chief Miki Levy said the bomber had been a 17-year-old youth from the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Jala.
"There is no doubt the police in this place prevented a big tragedy," Levy told reporters, describing the bomb as a medium-sized device packed with bolts and screws.
The terrorist apparently intended to reach the busier streets nearby but was scared off when he saw two policemen on foot patrol. He ducked into the doorway of the Falafel shop and blew himself up, Levy said.
Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Noam Katz condemned the attack. "This is a continuation of the wave of terrorism," Katz said. "The Palestinians are not doing what they have committed themselves to do."
Aides to seven Canadian parliamentarians, here on a fact-finding mission, were eating lunch in a nearby restaurant when the bomb went off, but they came to the site later.
"My stomach dropped when it first occurred," said Laurie Scott, who works for Ontario Senator Consiglio Dinino. "I wanted to run to the crime scene to see if we could do anything."
Scott said the group met with Palestinian representatives on Monday and had traveled around the country.
"We're here to learn and observe - unfortunately a little too close. We were just around the corner, it was a large bang and it was evident that something was wrong. But the Israelis just carried on and said not to worry and things will be taken care of."
In a separate incident before dawn, a Palestinian armed with two knives infiltrated the settlement of Itamar in the West Bank and attacked a man and his wife as they slept in bed. The man was moderately wounded; the terrorist was killed.
The attacks came less than a day after Israel nabbed a suicide bomber and his accomplice on their way to carry out an attack in central Israel.
E-mail a news tip to Julie Stahl.
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