Pvt. Eden Nathan Zaada, 19, was an IDF deserter from Rishon Lezion, who recently moved to the West Bank settlement of Tapuah. Wearing an IDF uniform, he opened fire on passengers on a bus in the Israeli Arab town of Shfaram on Thursday afternoon (August 4, 2005), killing four people and wounding 12. The terrorist was killed by a mob that boarded the bus after the shooting.

The victims of the attack were identified as bus driver Michel Bahus, 56; passengers Nader Hayak, 55, Hazar Turki, 23, and her 21-year-old sister, Dina.

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this evening (Thursday, 4 August 2005) released the following statement following the terrorist attack in Shfaram:

“This was a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens. This terrorist event was a deliberate attempt to harm the fabric of relations among all Israeli citizens.

"Terrorism by civilians against civilians is the most dangerous thing affecting the future of the State of Israel and its stability as a democracy. On my behalf and that of the government, I send condolences to the families of those who were murdered and my best wishes for a quick recovery to those who were wounded. The entire State of Israel, regardless of race, religion or sex, strongly condemns this act of terrorism.

The government is determined to protect the lives of Israel’s citizens from all ethnic communities and sectors. I have instructed the security services to accord the highest priority to investigating this terrorist attack. At this difficult hour for the State of Israel, I call on all public leaders in Israel – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze – to work together in an effort to maintain the internal fabric of relations and to act responsibly and with restraint, and to allow the legal authorities to finish their investigation of this awful terrorist attack.”

Prime Minister Sharon also telephoned Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee Chairman Shaouki Khatib and Shfaram Mayor Ersan Yassin, and expressed his sorrow over the terrorist attack.  The prime minister said that Jews and Arabs will always live in the State of Israel together and added that, even in the wake of such horrific events, we will succeed in maintaining quiet together. He asked to convey his condolences to the families of those who were murdered and his best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded.

The prime minister on Friday, 5 August 2005, instructed the National Insurance Institute and all related bodies to treat yesterday’s murders in Shfaram as an act of terrorism in every respect and to grant all assistance as provided for by law to the bereaved families and the wounded.

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Murder of Israeli citizens in Shfaram
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz strongly condemns the murder of Israeli citizens yesterday, August 4, 2005.

An IDF soldier, Pvt. Eden Nathan Zaada, is suspected of carrying out a shooting attack on the bus in Shfaram. The chief of General Staff ordered that the circumstances surrounding and leading to
the possession of an IDF weapon by the soldier, who had deserted and was of a problematic background, be investigated.

The chief of General Staff expresses his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a quick recovery to those who were wounded.

The Israeli Police and ISA are conducting an investigation of the incident, in which the Military Police will take part as well.