We Remember: 11 Years Since the Passover Massacre

Passover Massacre memorial at Ramat Hasharon. Photo: David Shai, Wikimedia

On this day 11 years ago, a Hamas terrorist broke into a Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya and murdered 30 civilians who had gathered to celebrate the holiday

Date: 27/03/2013, 1:59 PM     Author: Sahar Raz

On Monday evening, March 25, Jews all over the world joined their friends and families for the Passover Seder. Together, they celebrated the Jewish people’s journey from slavery to freedom. Eleven years ago, amid these celebrations, a Hamas suicide bomber, Abdel-Basset Odeh, broke into a Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel. He killed 30 civilians and injured hundreds more.

The suicide bombing, widely known as the “Passover Massacre”, devastated the Park Hotel on the evening of Passover, March 27, 2002. At 7:30 p.m., as hundreds of guests filled the room, preparing for a joyous Seder with loved ones, the Hamas terrorist broke through the hotel entrance and blew himself up. This attack was the culmination of one of the bloodiest months in Israel’s history, a month where 135 Israeli civilians died in terror attacks, and was the peak of the Second Intifada, which claimed more than 1,000 Israeli lives. 

A state of emergency was declared through the course of the night and over 20,000 IDF (Zahal) reservists were summoned to prepare for the counter-terrorism operation known as Operation Defensive Shield. Soldiers from across Israel left their families and Passover celebrations to answer the call to duty.

Operation Defensive Shield, which took place from March 29 to May 10, crushed the terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria from where terror organizations had planned and carried out ceaseless attacks against Israeli civilians in the form of armed attacks and suicide bombings in hotels, cafes, and family homes. The IDF (Zahal)’s actions during Defensive Shield succeeded in crippling terror infrastructure and drastically reduced the number of attacks originating in the region.

Shortly after the Passover Massacre, the Park Hotel reopened and, to this day, continues to hold an annual Seder. As the people of Israel continue with their lives, the IDF (Zahal) maintains eternal vigilance against threats to the State of Israel and will do everything to defend its people under all circumstances.

In memoriam of those killed in the Passover Massacre

– Shula Abramovitch, 63, of Holon
– David Anichovitch, 70, of Netanya
– Sgt.-Maj. Avraham Beckerman, 25, of Ashdod
– Shimon Ben-Aroya, 42, of Netanya
– Alter Britvich, 88, of Netanya
– Frieda Britvich, 86, of Netanya
– Andre Fried, 47, of Netanya
– Idit Fried, 47, of Netanya
– Miriam Gutenzgan, 82, of Ramat Gan
– Amiram Hamami, 44, of Netanya
– Perla Hermele, 79, of Sweden
– Dvora Karim, 73, of Netanya
– Michael Karim, 78, of Netanya
– Eliezer Korman, 74, of Ramat Hasharon
– Yehudit Korman, 70, of Ramat Hasharon
– Marianne Myriam Lehmann Zaoui, 77, of Netanya
– Lola Levkovitch, 70, of Jerusalem
– Sarah Levy-Hoffman, 89, of Tel-Aviv
– Furuk Na’imi, 62, of Netanya
– Eliahu Nakash, 85, of Tel-Aviv
– Chanah Rogan, 90, of Netanya
– Irit Rashel, 45, of Moshav Herev La’et
– Clara Rosenberger, 77, of Jerusalem
– Yulia Talmi, 87, of Tel-Aviv
– St.-Sgt. Sivan Vider, 20, of Bekaot
– Zee’v Vider, 50, of Moshav Bekaot
– Ernest Weiss, 80, of Petah Tikva
– Eva Weiss, 75, of Petah Tikva
– Anna Yakobovitch, 78, of Holon
– George Yakobovitch, 76, of Holon