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Afula Bus suicide bombing
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The attack site
Location Afula, Israel
Coordinates 32°36′43.38″N 35°17′16.88″E / 32.61205°N 35.2880222°E / 32.61205; 35.2880222
Date April 6, 1994
12:15 pm (GMT+2)
Attack type
Suicide attack
Deaths 8 Israeli civilians (+ 1 bomber)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Hamas claimed responsibility

The Afula Bus suicide bombing was the suicide bombing attack that was carried out on April 6, 1994 at a bus next to an Egged bus in the center of Afula, Israel. Eight Israeli civilians were killed in the attack and 55 additional people were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Afula Bus suicide bombing was the first suicide bombing attack to be carried out by Palestinian militants against Israeli civilians in Israel.[i][1]

Preparations for the attack

An Opel Ascona C, similar to the 1987 Opel Ascona C used to carry out the attack

The Afula Bus suicide bombing attack was planned by Hamas chief bombmaker Yahya Ayyash, who began to plan suicide bombings within Israel in 1992.

Ayyash rigged a 1987 Opel Ascona with seven gas cylinders, five anti-personal hand grenades, and wrapped the bomb in a rucksack containing 1,100 carpenter nails.

The attack

The memorial built at the site of the attack in memory of the victims of the attack

Around 11 am, during the Holocaust Memorial Day, a Palestinian suicide bomber, drove a vehicle full of explosives into the division nine street in downtown Afula. The suicide bomber stopped his vehicle next to an Egged commuter bus line number 348 and detonated the explosives device as the bus was boarding passengers at the bus stop which was crowded with people.


  • Vered Mordechai, 13, of Afula[2]
  • Asher Attia, 48, of Afula – bus driver[3]
  • Maya Elharar, 17, of Afula[4]
  • Ilana Schreiber, 45 – a teacher from Kibbutz Nir David[5]
  • Meirav Ben-Moshe, 16, of Afula[6]
  • Ayala Vahaba, 40 – a teacher from Afula[7]
  • Fadiya Shalabi, 25, of Iksal[8]
  • Ahuva Cohen Onalla, 37, of Afula – died of her wounds on April 25, 1994[9]

The perpetrators

A few hours after the blast, Hamas issued a communique stating that the bombing was carried out by a 19-year-old Palestinian named Ra'id Zaqarna, who originated from the village of Qabatya in the West Bank and who was a member of the Abdel el-Rahman Hamadan militant cell of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[10] Zaqarna drove to the intersection of Afula's 9th Brigade (Hativa Tesha) street, and pulled in front of the #348 bus. As a group of Israeli students boarded the bus, Zaqarna detonated the bomb.[11]

In addition, Hamas publicly declared that the attack, which was carried out 40 days after the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre (the end of the mourning period according to the Islamic religion), was carried out in revenge for the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre.[12]

See also

External links


  • ^i The first suicide car bomb attack took place at the Mehola Junction bombing in the West Bank on April 16, 1993. "A year later, on April 6, 1994, Hamas carried out its first successful suicide car bomb attack in Israel proper when a car packed with nearly 400 pounds of explosives detonated beside a bus picking up students in the Israeli town of Afula ..."[13]


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