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Bat Mitzvah massacre
Part of the Second Intifada militancy campaign
Israel outline center ta.png
Red pog.svg
The attack site
Location Hadera, Israel
Date January 17, 2002
9:45 pm (GMT+2)
Attack type
Mass shooting, massacre, murder-suicide, suicide bombing
Weapons M16 assault rifle
Deaths 7 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Abdul Salaam Sadek Hassouneh
(al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility)

The Bat Mitzvah massacre was a terrorist attack in Hadera, Israel on Thursday January 17, 2002, in which a Palestinian gunman, 24-year-old Abdul Salaam Sadek Hassouneh, killed six people and wounded 33 at a Bat Mitzvah celebration, a traditional Jewish celebration held for a 12-year-old girl.[1]

The attack

The attack took place at 9:45 pm (GMT+2) as guests were departing.[2] The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades assumed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was vengeance for the killing of its leader Raed Karmi. An Israeli police spokesman said the man, apparently on a suicide mission, had thrown several grenades into the Armon David wedding hall, where the Bat Mitzvah celebration had taken place, and detonated explosives on himself. A belt filled with explosives was found on the attacker.[1]


  • Boris Melikhov, 56, of Sderot[3]
  • Aharon Ellis, 32, of Ra'anana[3]
  • Anatoly Bakshiev, 62, of Or Akiva[3]
  • Avi Yazdi, 24, of Or Akiva[3]
  • Edward Bakshayev, 48, of Or Akiva[3]
  • Dina Binayev, 48, of Ashkelon[3]

Media coverage

The Al Jazeera television network was criticized for bias in coverage of the massacre, failing to note that the victims were attending a bat mitzvah and that the gunman crashed the event at a crowded banquet hall, and failing to mention the number of people killed by Raed Karmi when covering his assassination several days earlier, which would have provided context for the story.[4]

The perpetrators

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said the attacker, 24-year-old Abdel Salam Hassouna, was from a village near Nablus and launched the attack to avenge the death of Raed Karmi.[1]

After the attack a video made earlier by the attacker was released, in which he is seen declaring: "I am doing this to avenge all the Palestinian martyrs."[4]

Official reactions

Involved parties


 Palestinian territories:

  • The Palestinian Authority condemned the attack but blamed Israel for provoking it.[2]
  •  United States: the US government condemned the Hadera attack "in the strongest possible terms," calling it a "horrific act of terrorism."[2]


See also


External links

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