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The Jaffa Road bus bombings were attacks on two No. 18 buses in Jerusalem, Israel in 1996. Hamas suicide bombers killed 45 people in the attacks,[1] which were masterminded by Mohammed Deif, using explosives prepared by Adnan Awul.[2] These two bombings, within a few days of each other, occurred during a Hamas offensive launched after the killing of Yahya Ayyash, included the French Hill neighborhood attack, a suicide bombing in Ashkelon and a terrorist attack near Dizengoff centre in Tel Aviv.

First bombing[]

Jaffa Road bus bombing (February 25, 1996)
HAMAS suicide bombing in Jerusalem on 25 February (DoS Publication 10321)
Aftermath of the Jaffa Road bus bombings
Location Jerusalem
Date February 25, 1996
Target bus
Attack type
suicide bomber
Deaths 17 Israeli civilians
9 Israeli soldiers (+ 1 suicide bomber)
Non-fatal injuries
48 mostly civilians
Perpetrators Lone Palestinian assailant. Hamas claimed responsibility.

On the morning of February 25, 1996, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a No.18 bus traveling down Jaffa Road near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. 17 civilians and 9 Israeli soldiers were killed and 48, mostly civilians, injured.

The victims:[3]

  • Daniel Biton, 42
  • Yitzhak Elbaz, 57
  • Boris Sharpolinsky, 64
  • Semion Trakashvili, 60
  • Yitzhak Yakhnis, 54
  • Peretz Gantz, 61
  • Anatoly Kushnirov, 36
  • Anatoly Kushnirov, 37
  • Masuda Amar, 59
  • Swietlana Gelezniak, 32
  • Celine Zaguri, 19
  • Navon Shabo, 22, of Bnei Brak
  • Michael Yerigin, 16, of Kibbutz Maabarot
  • Matthew Eisenfeld, 25 of the United States
  • Sara Duker, 23, of the United States
  • Wael Kawasmeh, 23, of East Jerusalem, later died of his wounds
  • Ira Yitzhak Weinstein, 53, of Maaleh Adumim, later died of his wounds
  • Sgt. Yonatan Barnea, 20
  • St-Sgt. Gavriel Krauss, 24
  • St.-Sgt. Gadi Shiloni, 22
  • Cpl. Moshe Reuven, 19
  • St.-Sgt. Maj. (res.) Arye Barashi, 39
  • Cpl. Iliya Nimotin, 19
  • Cpl. Merav Nahum, 19
  • Sgt. Sharon Hanuka, 19;
  • Arik Gaby, 16 (student in pre-army boarding school) – all of Jerusalem.

Second bombing[]

Jaffa Road bus bombing
(March 3, 1996)
Location Jerusalem
Date March 3, 1996
Target bus
Attack type
suicide bomber
Deaths 16 Israeli civilians
3 Israeli soldiers (+ 1 suicide bomber)
Non-fatal injuries
7 civilians
Perpetrators Lone Palestinian assailant (Mohammed Abdo).[4] Hamas claimed responsibility.

On the morning of March 3, 1996, a suicide bomber boarded another No. 18 bus, detonating an explosive belt that killed 16 civilians and three Israeli soldiers and wounded 7.

The victims:[5]

  • Maya Birkan, 59
  • Naima Zargary, 66
  • Gavriel Shamashvili, 43
  • Shemtov Sheikh, 63
  • Anna Shingeloff, 36
  • Raya Daushvili, 55
  • George Yonan, 38 – all of Jerusalem;
  • Angel al-Syriani, 45, of Beit Jalla
  • Gidi Taspanish, 23, a tourist from Ethiopia
  • Valerian Krasyon, 44, a tourist from Romania
  • Dominic Lunca, 29
  • Daniel Patenka, 33
  • Marian Grefan, 40
  • Mirce Gifa, 39
  • Dimitru Kokarascu, 43 – all Romanian workers.
  • Imar Ambrose, 51, of Romania, died on March 9.
  • Sgt. Yoni Levy, 21, of Jerusalem
  • Sgt. Haim Amedi, 19, of Jerusalem
  • Senior NCO Uzi Cohen, 54, border policeman of Jerusalem.

Legal action[]

Bus bombing memorial

Commemorative plaque for those who died in the March 3, 1996 bus bombing on Jaffa Road

The families of United States victims Matthew Eisenfeld and Sarah Duker sued Iran for backing the attack, and won a US$327 million judgment in 2000. The Clinton Administration then blocked the families' efforts to seize certain Iranian assets in the United States.[6] As of 2006 collection efforts continue through legal process. The families, together with the family of another United States citizen killed in the same attack, now seek as much as US$900 million from Iran. In 2006 an Italian court domesticated the US court ruling, and temporarily froze Iranian assets. The plaintiffs have stated that they intend to pursue Iran through other European Union courts.[7]

See also[]


External links[]

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