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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Terrorist bomber explodes at checkpoint, murders 4

"Arabs were screaming, Jews were screaming"
DEBKA and Arutz Sheva: Early Wednesday, about 9:30 am, four Israelis were killed – 3 soldiers and 1 civilian - and 10 injured - by a female suicide bomber at Erez checkpoint on Israel-Gaza Strip. The explosion, perpetrated by an Arab mother of two, shook the entire building in which the many thousands of Arab workers from Gaza are checked and cross daily into pre-'67 Israel.

The four victims include two soldiers, one policeman, and one guard. The blast caused the roof to collapse at the point at which Israeli soldiers and security personnel check the incoming Arabs for explosives and weapons. The murderer approached the soldiers, saying that she had a metal plate implant and could therefore not pass through the regular electronic check post without causing the alarm to go off. The guards then called for a woman soldier to come and check her - but as they did so, the murderer walked forward another meter or two and detonated the explosives on her person, killing the four Israelis. The blast also wrecked the security screening facility, leaving thousands of Palestinians heading for jobs in Israel stranded.

Brig.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, IDF Commander of the Gaza Formation, said today, "The terrorists take cynical advantage of the State of Israel's humanitarian desire to help out the Arabs of Gaza and allow them to [cross the Green Line] and find work in Israel."

Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin claimed bomber was first female suicide “fighter” ever assigned mission by Hamas – a new development in “resistance to enemy until they leave our land and homeland.” The bomber was 21, mother of two young children.
According to al-Reuters, HAMAS said it sent a woman for the first time because of Israeli security "obstacles" facing its male bombers. . . . Smiling as she cradled an assault rifle in a videotape she left, Reem Al-Reyashi, 22, professed love for her children, a 3-1/2-year-old boy and a girl of 1-1/2 years, before an attack she said was meant to turn her body into "deadly shrapnel."

"Glass and black smoke flew everywhere. Arabs were screaming, Jews were screaming," said a Palestinian witness, her clothes stained with the blood of others.

UPDATE: Three of those killed were 1st Sgt. Tsur Or, 20, from Rishon Lezion; Corp. Andrei Kegles, 19, from Nahariya; and Border Guard 1st Sgt. Vladimir Trostinsky, 22, from Rehovot.

Our friend Felix has family in Rehovot. I couldn't help but let my mind leap to wondering the last name of the man his sister married. They have children this age . . . if Felix had to go to Israel, Gd forbid . . . then, and I am ashamed of this, I think . . . I was wondering if the increased tourism figures are nothing more than relatives going to funerals . . .