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Netanya Pesach Suicide Bombing, 2002

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

On This Day in Jewish History: March 27, 2002




On this day in 2002, a suicide bomber murdered 30 people (including 22 in the blast itself, as the remaining eight later died from their injuries) and injured over 100 more at a hotel in Netanya, a city on the coast of Israel. The attack occurred on the first day of Passover and people were congregated in the lobby for that night’s seder. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, and some Palestinian officials praised it as well. The bombing was part of a series of attacks now known as the Second Intifada in which over 4,000 people died. The uprisings occurred over the course of around five years, starting in 2000. The Second Intifada is generally considered to have started after there was no final agreement reached at the Camp David Accords. In the aftermath of the bombing, the Israel Defense Forces initiated Operation Defensive Shield in an attempt to quell terrorism. As part of the operation, thousands of reserve soldiers were called into action, and Ariel Sharon (the Prime Minister at the time) stated, "The Palestinians must be hit, and it must be very painful,” as he decided to approve the operation. As part of Operation Defensive Shield, the IDF invaded many major cities in the West Bank. Hundreds of millions of dollars of damage was done to Palestinian infrastructure, and over 150 Israeli soldiers and nearly 2,000 Palestinians were injured or killed during the fighting. However, the number of suicide bombings dropped significantly following the operation.

Sources:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/ten-years-after-passover-bombing-survivors-return-to-netanyas-park-hotel/ https://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/03/27/mideast/ https://www.britannica.com/topic/intifadah#ref1261887 https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/operation-defensive-shield

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