Daily Israel Report

Sabbath Closure Saves Jews in Moroccan Attack

A kosher hotel restaurant, popular with Israelis, was one of the targets in the string of suicide attacks in Casablanca, Morocco. Due to the Sabbath, however, no customers were present at the time of the bombing.

First Publish: 5/18/2003, 3:03 AM

A kosher hotel restaurant, popular with Israelis, was one of the targets in the string of suicide attacks in Casablanca, Morocco. Due to the Sabbath, however, no customers were present at the time of the bombing.

"The restaurant is usually full of visiting Israelis until late hours of the night but closes its doors each week in honor of the Jewish day of rest," explained a Jewish woman who lives one hundred feet from the restaurant. "It was simply a miracle," she told Itim News Agency.

Israel's Minister of Absorption Tzipi Livni has issued a statement to the Jews of Morocco inviting them to immigrate to Israel, pledging special assistance from the Jewish Agency.

About two thousand Jews still live in Morocco, eighty percent of whom reside in Casablanca. Ben Shitrit, Chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, issued a call in an interview with Ynet saying, "The time has come for the last remaining Jews of Morocco to pack up their belongings and join the 700,000 Moroccan Jews who have immigrated to Israel and have been successfully absorbed by their people here."