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Tel Aviv–Jerusalem bus 405 suicide attack
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The attack site
Location Near Kiryat Yearim in Israel
Coordinates 31°48′02.90″N 35°05′40″E / 31.800806°N 35.09444°E / 31.800806; 35.09444
Date 6 July 1989
Attack type
Suicide attack
Deaths 16 civilians
Non-fatal injuries
27 civilians
Perpetrators Abd al-Hadi Rafa Ghanim of Palestinian Islamic Jihad

The Tel Aviv–Jerusalem bus 405 attack was a suicide attack on 6 July 1989 carried out by Abed al-Hadi Ghaneim of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[1] On a crowded Egged commuter bus line No. 405 en route from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem (Israel), Ghanim seized the steering wheel of the bus, running it off a steep cliff into a ravine in the area of Qiryat Ye'arim.[1] 16 civilians died in the attack—including two Canadians and one American, and 27 were wounded.[2]

The incident is described as the first Palestinian suicide attack despite the fact that the attacker survived.[1]

The attack

On 6 July 1989 Egged commuter bus line No. 405 began its regular route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. When the bus passed Neve Ilan, Ghanim attacked the driver, seized the steering wheel of the bus and pulled the bus over a steep precipice into a ravine in the area of Qiryat Ye'arim. The driver was unable to stabilize the bus; as a result the vehicle rolled down the depth of the ravine and caught fire. Some of the passengers were burned alive.

Sixteen civilians were killed in the attack, including two Canadians and one American, and 27 were wounded.

Students from the Telz-Stone yeshiva who heard the screaming rushed to the scene to administer first aid. One of them, Yehuda Meshi Zahav, went on to found ZAKA, a volunteer rescue service organization.[1]

The perpetrator

The perpetrator, who survived the crash, received medical treatment for his injuries in an Israeli hospital. After the attack, it was revealed that the perpetrator was a 25-year-old Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant named Abd al-Hadi Rafa Ghanim who originated from the Nusseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Ghanim was convicted and given 16 life sentences for murder, hijacking and terrorism. On 18 October 2011, Ghanim was released to Gaza as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas.[3]

In popular culture

  • In the NBC drama, Heroes the character Hana Gitelman, along with her grandmother and mother, were on board when the attack happened. Of the three, Hana was the sole survivor and in the series, she is turned into a superhero.
  • Israeli singer Ruhama Raz recorded the song "As Rachel Waited" (כחכות רחל), which she wrote in memory of her sister, Miriam Tzerafi, who was killed in the attack.

See also


External links

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