FactsOfIsrael.com News, Comments and Links

<- Back to Main page

May 21, 2002
 Send to Printer    Link to this page
Israeli survives 1st, but dies after 2nd homicide/suicide bombing

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that one of victims of last Tuesday's Palestinian homicide/suicide bombing was one of the survivors of the Passover massacre where 29 Israeli civilians were killed.

Arkady Wieselman was the chef at the seaside "Park Hotel" in the resort town of Netanya, where on March 27 a Palestinian homicide/suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 29 people and wounding more than 100.

I heard on Israeli TV that Arkady was inside a freezer when the Palestinian murder committed his crime and was able to survive the terror attack. Unfortunately, last Tuesday another Palestinian homicide/suicide bomber blew himself up in Netanya, and this time Arkady was killed.

May God bless his memory. I copy the full article below.

Bombing survivor falls victim to second attack

NETANYA - For weeks after Arkady Wieselman survived Israel's deadliest suicide bombing, the hotel chef was haunted by nightmares and sought counseling to help him forget images of the torn bodies he dragged out of a hotel ballroom.

As Wieselman began to recover, he mustered the courage to go shopping Sunday in his city's crowded central market.

But this time he was not spared.

"He used to say, `What God gives, God gives,"' his brother Gennady said Tuesday at the family's apartment.

It is a twist of fate that has struck many in the seaside city of Netanya, which has been the target of 12 suicide bombings in the past two years. The city is at one of Israel's narrowest points, only 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the West Bank.

"It is difficult to say why some lived and some died," said Rina Hamamy, whose husband, Amiram, was one of the 29 people killed two months ago, in the middle of a meal celebrating the Jewish festival of Passover. "It's fate."

Wieselman was the chef of that holiday meal, but moments before the bomber struck he had left the ballroom at the Park Hotel to go to the kitchen to slice some chocolate cake for the guests.

At the same moment, Amiram Hamamy, the hotel manager, walked into the ballroom to help an elderly guest change her seat.

Wieselman survived the blast. Five ball bearings packed into the bomb struck Amiram Hamamy in the brain, fatally wounding him.

After the blast, Wieselman quickly called his wife, Victoria.

"God loves me," Victoria remembers him saying.

Wieselman, a chubby man with a bushy black beard, then ran out of the kitchen and began to drag bloody bodies from the shattered ballroom onto the marble floor of the nearby reception area.

"For two weeks he couldn't sleep," said Pinhas Zavlunov, his best friend, who was also at the hotel at the time of the blast.

"He would go to sleep and get up in the middle of the night. He told me that the image of an arm here, a head there, kept coming back to him," Zavlunov said. "He said he started talking in his sleep."

Wieselman and Zavlunov, who was also working at the hotel as a chef the night of the blast, began visiting a psychiatrist once a week and started taking medication.

"We were so uptight that we couldn't even drive," Zavlunov said. "We called each other twice a day just to check that the other was OK."

Eventually Wieselman began to look better and seemed less rattled.

"He only slowly, slowly started to return to normal," Gennady said.

On Sunday, as Wieselman was shopping in the central market, Zavlunov heard a huge blast in the vegetable and fruit section.

"I knew Arkady was shopping for his family and I ran to the vegetable area," said Zavlunov, who was also in the market.

Osama Boshkar, an 18-year-old Palestinian from the nearby Askar refugee camp, had blown himself up just beside the stall where Wieselman was shopping, killing three people and himself.

The moment she heard of the blast, Wieselman's wife, Victoria, grabbed her phone and called his cellphone. There was no answer.

"I rushed over to the hospital, but his name wasn't on any list," Victoria said.

She was frantically rummaging through pictures rescue workers took of the dead and wounded who had not yet been identified, when a nurse walked up with a bag of shoes.

They were Wieselman's.

"I knew then that he was dead," she said.

At her cramped two bedroom apartment, Victoria Wieselman sits with her daughters, Shlomit, 12 and Rina, 7, and struggles to explain why the family emigrated from Odessa, Ukraine, to Israel 12 years ago.

"We wanted a better future for our daughters," she said.

"Arkady dreamed that someday his daughters would be able to have a good life and would have their own rooms and would be able to go to universities," she said. The family now lives in the tiny apartment with Wieselman's ailing parents.

Wieselman started working in Israel as a dishwasher and worked his way up to being a chef.

But with tourism in Israel plummeting amid the suicide attacks, his hotel could afford to keep him on staff only a few days a week and Wieselman found himself working at two or three different restaurants to make enough to support his family.

"Hotels and restaurants are empty," Zavlunov said. "People don't go outside because of fear. No one knows if in the next five minutes there will be a bombing."

In the Askar refugee camp, the family of the suicide bomber who killed Wieselman released a videotape of their son.

Staring into the camera lens, the bomber said, "I will not be the last. There will be others."

Posted by David Melle at May 21, 2002 03:34 PM

Sad Blog.
This is a time to support Israel.

Posted by: Flights to Israel on November 5, 2007 12:13 AM
Post a comment 

Email Address:



Remember info?

Email this entry
Email this entry to (please enter email address):

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Referrers to this Page


This site contains some copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

(According to digits.com)