Double bombing of buses in Beersheba
Israeli rescue workers recover a body after bus bombings (Reuters/Ofer Vaknin)
 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba
 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

A body hangs from a window after bomb blast (Reuters/Ilan Zagdon)

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Two explosions took place within minutes of each other on two Beersheba city buses, on route nos. 6 and 12, shortly before 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday afternoon. The buses were traveling along Beersheba’s main street, Rager Blvd, near the city hall. Sixteen people were killed and 100 wounded.

Israel Radio reported that one bus was in flames, while windows were blown out of the second vehicle. Both buses had just left the city’s central bus station. Most of the passengers on the second bus, no. 12, fled the bus before the bomb exploded on hearing the first explosion.

The bombings were carried out by two suicide bombers. Hamas in Hebron claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in response to the attack: “Today’s acts of terror in Be’er Sheva were very serious.  On behalf of the Government, I would like to convey condolences to the families and our best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded.
This afternoon, I held talks with Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon on the continuation of activity and on methods in the war against terror.  I am going to continue talks on these issues.
We will fight such Palestinian terror with all our forces."

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba
Child’s toy  behind shattered window of  destroyed bus after bombing (Reuters/Gil Cohen Magen)
 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba
 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Palestinian Hamas supporters celebrate the twin suicide bombing during a Hamas rally in Gaza city (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom placed the blame squarely at PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, who "has brought nothing but terror and evil since his return to the territories."

The United States and European Union condemned the bombing. US Secretary of State Colin Powell phoned FM Silvan Shalom to express condolences for the attack, and asked that his message be relayed to the Israeli people. Javier Solana, the EU’s top foreign policy official, said, "Violence must stop. It seriously undermines all efforts to find a solution to the Middle East conflict." German FM Joschka Fischer, speaking from Egypt one day after his visit to Israel, called to express outrage at the attack. The Foreign Minister of Spain also phoned to express condolences.

Earlier Tuesday, IDF soldiers intercepted a Palestinian man carrying an explosives belt trying to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Beersheba is located 25 miles west of Gaza city.

 

The victims, all residents of Beersheba:

* Shoshana Amos, 64
* Aviel Atash, 3
* Vitaly Brodsky, 52
* Tamara Dibrashvilli, 70
* Raisa Forer, 55
* Larisa Gomanenko, 48
* Denise Hadad, 50
* Tatiana Kortchenko, 49
* Rosita Lehman, 45
* Karine Malka, 23
* Nargiz Ostrovsky, 54
* Maria Sokolov, 57
* Roman Sokolovsky, 53
* Tiroayent Takala, 33
* Eliyahu Uzan, 58
* Emmanuel Yosef (Yosefov), 28

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Shoshana Amos  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Aviel Atash  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Vitaly Brodsky  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Tamara Dibrashvilli

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Raisa Forer  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Larisa Gomanenko  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Denise Hadad  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Tatiana Kortchenko

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Rosita Lehman  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Karine Malka  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Nargiz Ostrovsky  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Maria Sokolov

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Roman Sokolovsky  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Tiroayent Takala  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Eliyahu Uzan  

 Double bombing of buses in Beersheba

Emmanuel Yosef