Arab terrorists carried out a suicide bombing in the commercial center of the southern Negev town of Dimona Monday morning, killing one female Dimona resident and wounding ten others.
A second suicide terrorist at the scene was already wearing his bomb-vest and waited for crowds of medics and spectators to arrive. Not knowing who he was, a doctor began to treat the second terrorist. Upon spotting the explosives belt under his clothes, the doctor warned Police Chief Inpector Kobi Mor, who shot the terrorist dead with a bullet to the head. The explosive vest was detonated in a controlled explosion by police sappers.
The wounded were all transported to Be'er Sheva's Soroka Hospital, where one person was admitted in critical condition and two others in moderate condition. Some 14 others were treated for light injuries and and dozens of others for psychological shock All were later released. Doctors have been fighting to save the life of the critically injured man, who is in surgery to remove what one hospital source said were almost a thousand bits of shrapnel in his stomach and torso.
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt near a coffee shop in a local shopping center. A school located nearby was immediately sealed, fearing that it was the intended target.
The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror gang controlled by Fatah, the terror group led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and funded and assisted by the US and Israel, claimed responsibility for the attack in a joint statement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group issued to the PA-based Ma'an News Agency. Islamic Jihad praised the attack, but said that initial reports that it took "credit" were "Israeli fabrications." Gaza residents celebrated word of the attack by dancing in the streets and handing out sweets.
It is likely that the terrorists crossed into the Sinai from Gaza as the border lay open in recent days since Hamas destroyed it. The terrorists then crossed into Israel over the lengthy and porous Sinai-Israeli border. Israeli intelligence warned that the open border was allowing terrorists from Gaza to prepare such attacks, particularly on Negev towns. Dimona is located not far from the border, between Arad and Be'er Sheva. The area is heavily populated by Bedouin tribes, which have been increasingly involved in smuggling from Egypt to Israel. It is also possible that the terrorist came from the southern Mt. Hevron region, from which attacks have emanated in the region in the past.
Police launched searches in and around Dimona, as well as trying to prevent crowds from gathering at the bomb-site, fearing additional bombers. The alert level has been raised all across Israel, particularly along the seam-line, Jerusalem region and southern towns near the Egypt border.
The unit headed by the Police Chief Inpector Mor, who killed the second bomber, was established recently to combat cross-border smuggling.
A Dimona firefighter told Voice of Israel government radio that he was not surprised that terrorists attacked the city because of recent infiltration of terrorists from Egypt following the destruction of the border barrier at Rafiah two weeks ago. It was the first time that Dimona has been the target of a terrorist attack. Israel's nuclear research facility is located near Dimona.
David, a lottery store owner in the commercial center recounted the attack to Army Radio: "Suddenly I heard an explosion. It was unbelievable...unbelievable. I saw parts of bodies flying toward me, toward my store. Security forces immediately closed down the commercial center, saying, 'There are still suspicious things here.'"
Dina, another resident of Dimona, said, “I heard a boom and at first I thought it was a gas balloon exploding. It was fortunate that at this hour, all the children were in school and very few, if any, were in the area at the time. But people here are hysterical. This has never happened in Dimona and people cannot believe it. You have no idea what is going on in this town right now."
The city of Be'er Sheva has set up a hotline for those concerned that family members may have been hurt in the attack: 08-646-7377. The city of Dimona has also set up a hotline to answer questions from those who are concerned about loved ones who may have been in the area at the time of the attack: 08-655-3107.