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July 31, 2002
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Palestinian Hamas murders 7 Israeli students and injures 86

Ha'aretz (www.haaretzdaily.com) reports that a bomb exploded in the cafeteria of the Jerusalem University killing 7 and wounding 86 students. Israeli radio just reported that 14 of the injured are in critical condition.

Some of those in the cafeteria were foreign students taking summer school classes, including two South Korean students in critical condition at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Although the identities of those killed were not released, Fox News reported, citing hospital sources, that one American was among the dead. Some 10 of the wounded were Arab citizens of Israel. [...]

Dr. Ovadia Shemesh, deputy director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, said most of the wounded were between the ages of 18 and 30. He said that most of the injuries were from shrapnel and from the collapse of the cafeteria ceiling. [...]

David Baker, an official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office, said that "Israel is fighting a pitched battle against terror and for the right to walk down the street, take a bus or sit in a cafeteria without the fear of being decimated by Palestinian terrorism."

The Hamas (meaning "Islamic Resistance" in Arabic), a Palestinian terrorist group dedicated to the destuction of Israel, claimed responsibility for the murders.

I copy the full article below.

Terror bombing kills 7, wounds 86 at Jerusalem university
By Jonathan Lis, Haim Shadmi, Yair Ettinger, and Jalal Ba'ana, Ha'aretz Correspondents, Ha'aretz Service and Agencies
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/
ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=192847&contrassID=1&
subContrassID=0&sbSubContrassID=0

A bombing in a crowded cafeteria at the Mount Scopus campus of Jerusalem's Hebrew University killed at least seven people Wednesday afternoon and injured at least 86, 14 seriously.

Some of those in the cafeteria were foreign students taking summer school classes, including two South Korean students in critical condition at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

Although the identities of those killed were not released, Fox News reported, citing hospital sources, that one American was among the dead. Some 10 of the wounded were Arab citizens of Israel

The injured were taken to hospitals in the city, but the evacuation efforts were hampered by the location of the attack, inside a building on the campus.

In a statement released to Al-Jazeera Television, Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, denying reports that it was a suicide bombing. Hamas has repeatedly sworn to avenge the assassination last week of its military commander Salah Shehadeh in an IDF air raid that also killed 11 children and a number of adult civilians.

Police spokeswoman Sigal Toledo said it was not a suicide bombing. "The bomb was in a bag which had been planted on a table in the center of the restaurant," she said.

Dr. Ovadia Shemesh, deputy director of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, said most of the wounded were between the ages of 18 and 30. He said that most of the injuries were from shrapnel and from the collapse of the cafeteria ceiling.

David Baker, an official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office, said that "Israel is fighting a pitched battle against terror and for the right to walk down the street, take a bus or sit in a cafeteria without the fear of being decimated by Palestinian terrorism."

The Palestinian Authority issued a condemnation of the blast.

In Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer condemned the attack as "a horrific attack of terror." "This terrorist attack underscores again the need for the Palestinian people and Palestinian leadership to take action to halt terrorism so peace has a chance in Middle East," he said.

Though classes were not in session, students were taking exams at the time of the blast, and the cafeteria, situated in the university's Frank Sinatra building, was crowded with diners. There were also numerous students in the building registering for classes for the coming school year, witnesses said.

"This was one place that I thought was safe," said a shaken and bloodied survivor of the attack, who identified herself as Anat.

Another eyewitness, Oshrit, said that although there were security personnel in nearly every building, "The security is not thorough, they check your bag and that's it."

"At first we didn't know what was happening. The whole building shook," she said. "The street was full of smoke and broken glass."

It was the second bomb attack in the capital in the space of 24 hours. On Tuesday five people were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a felafel stand in downtown Jerusalem, near the border with the city's largely Arab eastern half.

The Mount Scopus campus is adjacent to the West Bank, and is close to Arab neighborhoods of the holy city. Israel Radio reported that the student newspaper recently reported on the possibility of infiltrating the campus from the nearby Palestinian village of Issawiya via the botanical garden at the university.

Emergency information hotlines:
Hadassah Hospital, Mount Scopus 125-5121
Hadassah Hospital, Ein Karem 125-5122
Shaare Zedek Medical Center 125-5125
Bikur Holim Hospital 125-5123

Posted by David Melle at July 31, 2002 09:37 AM
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(According to digits.com)