Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing

Sbarro Pizza was a popular pizzeria on Jaffa Street and King George Street where today Neeman Bakery stands.

August 9, 2001, Shueil Al Masri came to the location at 2pm with a guitar case containing explosives weighing ten kilograms after being dropped off by Ahlam Tamimi.

Many families were at the pizzeria with their children standing in line waiting to put in their orders to buy a pie.

No one standing in line would ever imagine going to a pizzeria would be a death sentence or completely alter their health for the rest of their lives.

As a patron standing in line behind a man with a guitar was waiting to order, all of the sudden sees a bright white light and heat consuming the patron’s body.

Survivors farther away from the blast were made aware of people screaming in pain while children saw their dead parents in front of them.

Carnage at the scene will shock survivors who will never forget a large amount of blood and human body parts spread across the pavement.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry:

“15 people were killed, including 7 children, and about 130 were injured in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem. Concealing the explosives in a guitar case which he had carried with him into Jerusalem, the terrorist entered the restaurant just before 2 PM and detonated the bomb. The 5 kg.-10 kg. bomb, which was packed with nails, screws, and bolts to ensure maximum damage, completely gutted the restaurant, which was full of lunchtime diners.”

The victims according to the Foreign Ministry:
–  Giora Balash, 60, of Brazil
–  Zvika Golombek, 26, of Carmiel
–  Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31, of the U.S.
–  Tehila Maoz, 18, of Jerusalem
–  Frieda Mendelsohn, 62, of Jerusalem
–  Michal Raziel, 16, of Jerusalem
–  Malka Roth, 15, of Jerusalem
–  Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, of Neria
–  Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, of Neria
–  Ra’aya Schijveschuurder, 14, of Neria
–  Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, of Neria
–  Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, of Neria
–  Lily Shimashvili, 33, of Jerusalem
–  Tamara Shimashvili, 8, of Jerusalem
–  Yocheved Shoshan, 10, of Jerusalem

Following the event, Abdullah Barghouti was arrested for having put the explosive together and Ahlam Tamimi was arrested for being an accomplice in dropping off the terrorist.

Barghouti is facing a life sentence and is expected to die in prison, but still gets his pension from the Palestinian Authority.

Ahlam Tamimi was the only other perpetrator of the attack who walks free today in the country of Jordan after serving a few years in prison.

Tamimi was born to Palestinian parents in Jordan and attended Bir Zeit University studying journalism and was a part-time journalist at the time.

Ahlam Tamimi was very proud of the attack that she even mentioned how proud she was that she managed to kill and injure several people.

Ahlam Tamimi was later released in a prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit and went to live in Jordan after her release.

According to MemriTV Tamimi said to an interviewer after she was released from prison, “Afterwards, when I took the bus, the Palestinians around Damascus Gate [in Jerusalem] were all smiling. You could sense that everybody was happy. When I got on the bus, nobody knew that it was me who had led [the suicide bomber to the target]… I was feeling quite strange, because I had left [the bomber] ‘Izz Al-Din behind, but inside the bus, they were all congratulating one another. They didn’t even know one another, yet they were exchanging greetings.”

Palestinians were delighted at the attack that many people were celebrating it even when Tamimi came on the bus.

Tamimi claims people on the bus were so happy and congratulating one another about the horrific attack.

According to the BBC, “The room-sized installation had broken tables splattered with fake blood and body parts. A university branch of the militant Palestinian group Hamas built the exhibit, which recreates the scene of last month’s attack on Sbarro Pizza house in Jerusalem.”

Bir-Zeit University Hamas branch made an exhibit celebrating the death of Israelis but was eventually taken down by order from Yasser Arafat.

There is still a warrant by the US government for Ahlam Tamimi, but the Jordanian government has refused to hand her over to the US since the Jordanian Government does not have an extradition treaty with the US.

About the Author
Shlomo was born in Miami, Florida in 1989 and moved to Israel in 2012. He holds a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Political Science and served in the IDF as a combat soldier in the Netzach Yehuda Battalion. After serving in the military Shlomo studied in Yeshivat Shavie Hevron where he lived in Hebron. He now lives in Kiryat Arba, is a proud reservist in the Golani Brigade, and is a blogger for the Times of Israel.
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