(IsraelNN.com) Yesterday, the Sabbath, marked three years on the Hebrew calendar (20 Av – August 9, 2001) since the suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem’s Sbarro Restaurant. 15 persons were murdered in the attack that took place at the popular pizza restaurant in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, at the intersection of Jaffa and King George Streets. About 130 were left injured in the blast, some sustaining permanent disabilities.
While Sbarro has relocated since, erasing yet another reminder of that painful day in Jerusalem’s history, hundreds of family members and friends gathered this evening in Jerusalem’s Har Menuhot Cemetery to recite Psalms, to reflect, cry, and remember two of the victims, two girls who remain eternally young.
Michal Raziel, 16, and Malka Chana Roth, 15, were more than friends. They were best friends, the kind that do everything together, sharing their life experiences. Michal and Malka were seated next to one another when a terrorist in a cold calculated move entered the restaurant, making certain it was crowded enough, pulling the detonator on his bomb, turning himself into a human missile that exploded inside the restaurant – converting the scene into an instant inferno. In a matter of milliseconds, the popular downtown happening spot became another statistic, another notch in the PLO’s belt of terror attacks. Michal and Malka’s lives were snuffed out along with 13 others, including five members of the Schijveschuurder family. The parents and three of their children were killed as well.
For the Roth and Raziel families, the 20th of Av is not just another day, it is a day when the daily nightmare intensifies, when friends and family gather at the gravesides and wonder what could have been. The bereaved family members stare at the graves, side-by-side, wondering how would the girls look today? Would they be in the army? Married? The questions will never be answered, the dreams never realized. The reality of that day, the pain and horror will remain forever as it does in the homes of thousands of Israelis, Americans and other victims of ongoing Arab terrorism. The families of the dead try to move ahead while the survivors and their families continue building their lives, which in no small part surrounds constant rehabilitation and therapy.
The victims of the Sbarro attack:
1. Frieda Mendelson, 62, of the Romeima neighborhood of Jerusalem
2. Michal Raziel, 16, of the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem
3. Malka Chana Roth, 15, of the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem
4. Tzvi Golombek, 26, of Carmiel
5. Tehilla Maoz, 19, of David Yellin Street in Jerusalem
6. Lili Samishvilli, 39, of the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem
7. Tamar (Lili’s 8-year-old daughter)
8. Giora Balash, 60, a tourist from Brazil
9. Shoshana (Judith Lillian) Greenbaum, 31, a tourist from the United States
10. Yocheved Shoshan, 10, from the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem
11. Mordehai Schijveschuurder of the Shomron community of Nerya, 43
12. Tzila Schijveschuurder, 41
13. Raiya Schijveschuurder, 14
14. Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4
15. Chemda Schijveschuurder, 18 months
The Roth family has established The Malki Foundation to carry on Malki’s work of bringing assistance to families with special needs – helping children with severe disabilities.