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Murder of Helena Rapp
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The attack site
Location Bat Yam promenade, Israel
Date 24 May 1992
7:30 am (GMT+2)
Attack type
Stabbing attack
Weapons Knife
Deaths 15-year-old Israeli schoolgirl Helena Rapp
Perpetrator Lone Palestinian assailant (Fouad Abd El Hani El Omrin). The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility

Helena Rapp monument on Ben Gurion street, Bat Yam

Helena Rapp monument on Ben Gurion street, Bat Yam

The Murder of Helena Rapp was a stabbing attack carried out on 24 May 1992, in which a Palestinian terrorist killed 15-year-old Israeli schoolgirl Helena Rapp in the center of the Israeli coastal city of Bat Yam. The attack, which shocked the Israeli public, was one of the more prominent stabbing attacks in a series of stabbing attacks that took place in Israel during the early 1990s, which signified to many in the Israeli public a deterioration of their personal security at the time.

The attack

On 24 May 1992, at around 7:30 am, 18-year-old Palestinian militant Fouad Abd El Hani El Omrin killed 15-year-old Israeli schoolgirl Helena Rapp, by stabbing her with a knife at the corner of Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky streets in the coastal Israeli city of Bat Yam, while she was on her way to the bus stop in order to get to school.[1][2][3]


The perpetrator was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack was one of the reasons that led to the targeted killing of the Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shikaki in 1995.[4]

Following the attack, thousands of Bat Yam residents rioted in the streets of the city for five days without significant interference, causing heavy damage to property while occasionally attacking random Arab-looking by-passers.[5] Among the organizers of the riots was Baruch Marzel, who was later sentenced to 8 months probation for his part in the riots. After 5 days, during which Helena Rapp's father Ze'ev Rapp encouraged the riots, he eventually responded to a police request to help disperse the rioters and as a result the riots subsided. In the Or Commission Israeli Chief of Police Assaf Hefetz criticized the way the police handled the rioting after Rapp's murder and claimed that the riots should have been dispersed much earlier.[6]

After the incident, Ze'ev Rapp, Helena's father, devoted his life to commemorating his daughter and to public activities as the chairman of the Israeli Victims of Terror Attacks Organization.[7]

Following the attack, which took place during the 1992 Israeli legislative elections, many Israeli politicians showed up in Bat Yam and/or spoke out about the attack. The Minister of Police Roni Milo and the leader of the right-wing nationalist Moledet party Rehavam Ze'evi were present at Helena Rapp's funeral. Labor Party politician Shimon Peres arrived in Bat-Yam and despite some concerns was welcomed by local residents. Much of the Israeli public blamed the right-winged Shamir government for the deterioration to the personal security of Israelis during this period. Videos of the rioting that took place in Bat Yam were featured in Labor Party electoral ads which blamed the deteriorating security situation on the Likud government.[8]

Release of Assailant

On 18 October 2011, Fuad Muhammad Abdulhadi Amrin, who was originally sentenced to a life sentence, was released to Gaza as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas.[9][10]

See also


External links

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