Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dolphinarium suicide bombing
Part of the Second Intifada militancy campaign
The abandoned ruins of the Dolphinarium
Tel Aviv map-plain.png
Red pog.svg
The attack site

Israel outline center ta.png
Red pog.svg
The attack site
Location Tel Aviv, Israel
Coordinates 32°04′02″N 34°45′42″E / 32.06722°N 34.76167°E / 32.06722; 34.76167
Date June 1, 2001
23:30 pm (GMT+2)
Attack type
Suicide attack
Deaths 21 (+ 1 bomber)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Lone Palestinian assailant (Saeed Hotari). Both Islamic Jihad and a group calling itself "Hezbollah-Palestine" originally claimed responsibility.
Inscription on the back of the dolphinarium massacre memorial

The Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing was a terrorist attack on June 1, 2001 in which a suicide bomber Saeed Hotari, a terrorist linked to the Palestinian group Hamas, blew himself up outside a discotheque on a beachfront in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 21 Israeli teenagers and injuring 132.[1][2][3][4]

The attack[edit]

Suicide bomber Saeed Hotari was standing in line on a Friday night in front of the Dolphinarium, when the area was packed with youngsters (most of them Russian new arrivals) waiting for admission. Survivors of the attack later described how the young Palestinian bomber appeared to taunt his victims before the explosion, wandering among them dressed in clothes that led some to mistake him for an orthodox Jew from Asia, and banging a drum packed with explosives and ball bearings, while repeating the words in Hebrew: "Something's going to happen".[5] At 23:38, he detonated his explosive device. It was the second attack in five months on the same target.[6] Witnesses claimed that body parts lay all over the area, and that bodies were piled one above another on the sidewalk before being collected. Many civilians in the vicinity of the bombing rushed to assist emergency services.


Dolphinarim Massacre memorial on the Tel Aviv dolphinarium site
Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing by Victor Brindatch oil on canvas painting size 100x130

One Israeli soldier and 20 civilians, mostly teenagers whose families immigrated from the former Soviet Union, died in the attack:[7]


Both Islamic Jihad and a group calling itself "Hezbollah-Palestine" originally claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, only to later retract the claims.[29]

Later on it was revealed that the attack was carried out by Saeed Hotari, age 22, a militant linked to the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas.[30]

Official reactions[edit]

Involved parties


  • Israeli officials called the attack a "massacre".[31]

 Palestinian territories:

  • President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat condemned the attack and called for a cease-fire;[32]
  •  United Nations – UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that he "condemns this indiscriminate terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms." and that the attack "underlines the urgency of breaking the cycle of violence".[33]
  •  Kuwait – The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and acting Premier Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah stated that he does not support Palestinian suicide bombings against civilians.
  •  USA – US president George W. Bush stated that he condemns the attack in the strongest terms and that "There is no justification for senseless attacks against innocent civilians."[34]


After the attack many in the Israeli public demanded a harsh military retaliation, nevertheless, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to not take any immediate retaliatory actions. US and other governments applied heavy diplomatic pressure on Israel to refrain from action.[32] Nevertheless, the attack was later on noted as one of the reasons cited by the Israeli government for building the Israeli West Bank barrier.[35]

In Ramallah dozens of Palestinians celebrated in the streets and fired in the air as a sign of celebration.[36] The bomber, Saeed Hotari was praised as a martyr by his father.[37] President George W. Bush demanded that Arafat condemn the terrorist act.[38]

According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli-based organization with close ties to the IDF, among the materials seized by the IDF in the course of Operation Defensive Shield were two documents issued by the Martyrs’ Families and Injured Care Establishment, which falls under the authority of the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Social Affairs. The documents address the transfer of a grant in the sum of $2,000 to the father of the suicide bomber, who was living in Jordan at that time (June 18, 2001). According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the transfer was made in spite of the suicide bomber’s Hamas affiliation, in spite of the father’s public support of the suicide bombing attack, and in spite of Yasser Arafat’s public condemnation of the suicide bombing attack.[39]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ The Palestinian Authority-Hamas Collusion – From Operational Cooperation to Propaganda Hoax
  2. ^ O'Sullvian, Arieh (2001-11-25). "No. 1 Hamas terrorist killed. Followers threaten revenge in Tel Aviv.". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  3. ^ Fisher, Ian (2006-01-29). "In Hamas's Overt Hatred, Many Israelis See Hope". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  4. ^ Ynet – פיגוע בדולפינריום – חדשות
  5. ^ 3,000 dead yet peace remains elusive Chris McGreal, The Guardian, Monday September 29, 2003
  6. ^ "Bloody Terrorist Attack in Tel Aviv – 18 Youth Killed" (in Hebrew). Ynet. 2001-06-02. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  7. ^ "Jun 04, 2001 List of Victims of the Dolphinarium Terrorist Attack". Embassy of Israel in Washington DC. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  8. ^ Maria Tagiltseva
  9. ^ Raisa Nimrovsky
  10. ^ Anya Kazachkov
  11. ^ Katherine Kastaniyada-Talkir
  12. ^ Irina Nepomneschi
  13. ^ Mariana Medvedenko
  14. ^ Yulia Nelimov
  15. ^ Liana Sakiyan
  16. ^ Marina Berkovizki
  17. ^ Simona Rodin
  18. ^ Alexei Lupalo
  19. ^ Yelena Nelimov
  20. ^ Irena Usdachi
  21. ^ Ilya Gutman
  22. ^ Roman Dezanshvili
  23. ^ Pvt Diez Normanov
  24. ^ Ori Shahar
  25. ^ Yael-Yulia Sklianik
  26. ^ Sergei Panchenko
  27. ^ Jan Bloom
  28. ^ Yevgenia Dorfman
  29. ^ Bomb horror hits Tel Aviv disco, The Jerusalem Post, June 4, 2001.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Shalom, Silvan. "Q&A with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom." Haaretz. May 8, 2008
  32. ^ a b Deborah Sontag, "Arafat Calls for Cease-Fire, Deploring Tel Aviv Attack", New York Times, June 3, 2001.
  33. ^ Press Release SG/SM/7829 of 1 June 2001
  34. ^ "Israeli police: Four dead in Tel Aviv bombing". CNN. February 25, 2005. 
  35. ^ Israel Foreign Ministry, Four Years of Conflict: Israel's war against terrorism, October 3, 2004, p. 28
  36. ^ Jerusalem Post-Bomb horror hits Tel Aviv disco By David Rudge
  37. ^ His father's son: the making of a suicide bomber
  38. ^ "Bush to Arafat: You Must Condemn This Terrible Attack" (in Hebrew). Ynet. 2001-06-02. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  39. ^ "The Palestinian Authority's support of Hamas' suicide terrorism". October 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-04.