At 3:56 p.m. on the eve of Purim 1996, a suicide bomber detonated a twenty-kilogram (44 lb.) bomb laced with nails and screws. Five children in costumes were among the 13 victims, who included a young soldier, two friends out for coffee, a journalist on his way to work, an elderly woman due to meet her son at an Israel philharmonic concert, a woman on her way home from shopping, and a mother and daughter shopping for a wedding dress.
Marlyn Butchins writes this remembrance:
On this day, March 4, 1996 my dear mother and sister were killed in a terrorist attack outside Dizengoff Center in the heart of Tel Aviv. I write this sentence, speaking it in my mind, as I have done so many times in the last 21 years, with utter disbelief that such a thing could ever have happened. It was one of those life-changing days that has become a defining moment in my life. Time will always be measured by it. In historical and political terms, however, it was just another day here in Israel. The ultimate protest by a suicide bomber, the efforts of our Government and the unnecessary cost of human lives has not changed one little bit and Israel is no closer to a peace solution than it was at the time of this tragedy.
Today, please remember my mother and sister of blessed memory, Sylvia Bernstein and Gail Belkin.
Alongside them, eleven other victims died unnecessarily: Yovav Levy, Kobi Zaharon, Hadas Dror, Dana Gutterman, Bat-Chen Shahak, Asaf Waks, Inbar Atia, Tali Gordon, Dani Tverski, Leah Mizrachi and Rachel Sela.
And alongside them, thousands of people have lost their lives in terrorist attacks throughout Israel. Take a minute please to think of them and their families every day.