Beit Lid massacre
|Beit Lid massacre|
|Location||Beit Lid Junction, Israel|
|Date||January 22, 1995
9:30 am (GMT+2)
|Attack type||Suicide attack|
|Deaths||20 Israeli soldiers and one civilian (+ 2 suicide bombers)|
|Injured (non-fatal)||69 Israelis, mostly soldiers|
|Perpetrators||Two Palestinian suicide bombers (Anwar Soukar and Salah Shaaker). Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.|
The Beit Lid massacre was a suicide attack by Palestinian Islamic Jihad against Israeli soldiers at the Beit Lid Junction on January 22, 1995. It was the first suicide attack by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In 1994, Hani Abed, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, brokered an alliance between Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (Hani was later assassinated by Israel). As part of the alliance, Hamas's chief bombmaker, Yahya Ayyash, built the three bombs used by Islamic Jihad for the Beit Lid suicide attack. Each was made using plumber's pipe (one foot long and eight inches (203 mm) wide) and five kilograms of military-grade TNT, surrounded by nails.
The Beit Lid junction is a well-known waypoint towards Netanya. Strategically, it is an important crossroads between Tel Aviv and Haifa located on Highway 4. "On Sunday mornings, Beit Lid was swamped with thousands of young soldiers and aging reservists heading back to military duty from weekend leaves". Ashmoret Prison is located in the southwest corner of the Beit Lid junction. At the time of the bombing, Ahmed Yassin, founder of Hamas, was being held there.
On 22 January 1995, at approximately 9:30 am, a Palestinian suicide bomber, disguised as an Israeli soldier, approached the bus stop at the Beit Lid junction in central Israel. The bus stop was full of Israeli soldiers who were on their way to their bases after their weekend vacation. The suicide bomber walked into the crowd and detonated the hidden explosives belt he was wearing. About three minutes later a second suicide bomber exploded at the same spot, killing and injuring people wounded in the first explosion, as well as bystanders who had rushed to the scene to assist the victims of the first explosion.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin toured the bombing site the next day, walking within yards of a kit bag containing a third bomb. Shaaker had left it there for a third suicide bomber, Shahdi Abed al-Rahim, who never made it to the junction. al-Rahim was to have used the bomb to kill Rabin and the Shabak agents accompanying him. The bomb was later recovered, and provided investigators with more evidence implicating Ayyash.
- "But after the Beit Lid massacre, the government approved the construction and sale of 4000 units in occupied land around Jerusalem." Beyer, Lisa. "Can Peace Survive", Time, February 06, 1995.
- "When Arafat called Rabin to express his condolences on the Beit Lid massacre, the prime minister was understandably furious." Karsh, Efraim, Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest, Grove Press, 2003, p. 116. ISBN 0-8021-1758-9
- "The reaction of peace processors in Jerusalem and Washington to the Beit Lid massacre, in which Islamic suicide bombers wiped out a score of Israelis, has been shock, anger, sorrow -- but a determination that terrorist attacks not be allowed to stop the peace process." Safire, William. "Essay; Responding to Terror", The New York Times, January 26, 1995.
- "President Ezer Weizman, a super-dove who initially supported the agreement wholeheartedly, called for a temporary suspension of talks following the Beit Lid massacre on January 22 and again after the February 6 killing in Gaza." Bar-Ilan, David. "Rain of terror - Israeli politics", National Review, March 6, 1995, p. 2.
- Katz, 166-167
- Lt. David Ben-Zino (Hebrew)
- Lt. Adi Rosen (Hebrew)
- Lt. Yuval Tuvya (Hebrew)
- Sgt.-Maj. Anan Kadur (Hebrew)
- Staff-Sgt. Damian Rosovski (Hebrew)
- Staff-Sgt. Yehiel Sharvit (Hebrew)
- Staff-Sgt. Yaron Blum (Hebrew)
- Sgt. Maya Kopstein (Hebrew)
- Sgt. Daniel Tzikuashvili (Hebrew)
- Sgt. Avi Salto (Hebrew)
- Sgt. Rafael Mizrahi (Hebrew)
- Sgt. Eran Gueta (Hebrew)
- Cpl. Soli Mizrahi (Hebrew)
- Cpl. David Hasson (Hebrew)
- Cpl. Amir Hirschenson (Hebrew)
- Cpl. Gilad Gal-On (Hebrew)
- Cpl. Ilie Dagan (Hebrew)
- Cpl. Eitan Peretz (Hebrew)
- Lt. Eyal Levy (Hebrew)
- Cpl. Yaniv Weiser (Hebrew)
- "Fatal Terrorist Attacks in Israel Since the Declaration of Principles". MFA. 24 September 2000. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- Katz, 168
- Katz, Samuel. The Hunt for the Engineer. Lyons Press, 2002. ISBN 1-58574-749-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beit Lid massacre memorial.|
- Suicide bomb kills 19 at Israel road junction - published on Boston Herald on January 23, 1995
- Two-Stage Bombing Kills 19 At Israeli Military Bus Stop - published on Washington Post on January 23, 1995
- Blast kills 19 in Israel - published on Sun Journal on January 23, 1995
- Double Bombing Kills 19 Israelis, Wounds 60 - published on Times Daily on January 23, 1995
- Time Magazine interview with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shkaki four days after the bombing