Daily Israel Report

Workweek Begins With Suicide Bombing

Israel's workweek began this morning under a sky of terror. At 8:43 AM, at the height of the rush hour, an Arab suicide bomber detonated a bomb packed with nails aboard Egged bus number 361 at the Meiron Junction, near the entrance to the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The junction is located just west of the city of Tzfat (Safed).
First Publish: 8/4/2002, 11:26 AM

Israel's workweek began this morning under a sky of terror. At 8:43 AM, at the height of the rush hour, an Arab suicide bomber detonated a bomb packed with nails aboard Egged bus number 361 at the Meiron Junction, near the entrance to the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The junction is located just west of the city of Tzfat (Safed). The doomed bus, which originated at Haifa's Central Bus Station at 7:15 AM on its way to Tzfat, was packed with commuters traveling to work, many soldiers returning to base, and other Israelis going home after the weekend.

The roof of the bus was blown off in the blast, and the remainder of the vehicle erupted in a ball of fire. At this point it is reported that at least nine people were killed in the attack, with more than 50 others injured, many seriously. At least one of those dead is an IDF soldier. The wounded have been airlifted by helicopter to hospitals in Tzfat, Haifa, and Tiberias.

The attack occurred within minutes of the start of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. The session was to have been devoted to discussing this week's diplomatic meetings between Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders. All of those meetings have now been postponed.