The Suicide Bombing That Moved Israel to Action

For almost a decade, Israel suffered from a new kind of terrorism where an individual terrorist would approach a target with explosives attached to himself and kill himself along with others.

From 1993 to 2002, Israel experienced a large amount of suicide bombings targeted towards Israeli civilians.

Western intellectuals along with Islamic fundamental apologists made the flawed argument that because Israeli Citizens are required to do military service they are legitimate targets at any age.

Israeli response to suicide bombings were pathetic with no real ability to deter such attacks because they were unable to properly punish perpetrators or stop incentives.

According to the Oslo Accords the IDF was not allowed to enter area A and most of the responses to attacks where to either put the perpetrators in prison or demolition of their homes.

Terrorists sent to prison were rewarded with a several college degrees from the American University of Cairo and stipends from the Palestinian Authority.

Homes destroyed by the Israeli Military after a court order would be rebuilt a few months later with assistance from the Palestinian Government and neighbors.

Passover of 2002 in Netanya with many elderly Holocaust survivors along with other guests were celebrating the first day of Passover.

Singing traditional songs and speaking at the table about the Jewish Peoples’ Exodus from Egypt held great meaning to many of the survivors whose memory of their time in concentration camps were still vivid after sixty years.

Dressed up as a woman to avoid security, Abdel-Basset Odeh entered the Park Hotel carrying a large amount of explosives in a suitcase.

Odeh would hear all the 250 people in the dinning hall starting to begin the custom of the Passover Seder with the blessing over the wine.

Detonation of the bomb resulted in the deaths of thirty people with 140 other guests injured from the blast.

One of the most sacred and ancient rites in the Jewish religion celebrated for three millennia was attacked by a despicable terrorist.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack and proudly proclaimed that such attacks should only continue to liberate what they perceive to be their country from the river to the sea.

CNN reported Ahmed Yassin’s (Hamas spiritual leader) statement following the attack:

“From his home in Gaza City, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, said Wednesday’s bombing was “a message to the Arab summit to confirm that the Palestinian people continue to struggle for the land and to defend themselves no matter what measures the enemy takes.”

Sheik Yassin exemplifies Hamas’ attitude toward non-combatants with his own words by proclaiming such attacks are legitimate for the struggle against the Jewish State.

Suffering such a terror attack within Israel Proper where mostly Israeli Senior citizens were murdered in cold blood by a suicide bomber.

The Israeli Public finally pressured their own government to act and work militarily to put a stop to the bombings killing its own civilians.

After the Park Hotel Attack, the Israeli government ordered 20,000 reservists and launched Operation Protective Shield.

Operation Protective Shield brought the IDF into Area A and had a direct positive impact in lowering the amount of suicide bombings the following years.

History has shown that only when the sword is at the neck of the Israeli public does the government act to put an end to the enemy inflicting damage on its citizens.

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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