|Café Apropo bombing|
|Location||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Date||21 March 1997 |
c. 13:40 pm (GMT+2)
|Deaths||3 civilians (+1 bomber)|
|Perpetrator||Hamas claimed responsibility|
The attack occurred on 21 March 1997, on the eve of the Purim holiday, at around 13:40, when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated an explosive device which was concealed in a handbag in the entrance to the coffee shop "Apropo" in Tel Aviv. The force of the explosion killed three young women in their early 30s, one of them was three months pregnant.
The assailant has been identified as Musa Abd al-Qadir Ghanimat from the West Bank village of Surif. He was member of a Hamas cell run by a relative, Ibrahim Ghanimat, who was finally captured in 2005. The cell, sometimes called the "Surif squad", is also responsible for several other attacks against Israeli targets. It was believed at least at some point during the investigations that the assailant had no intention to die as a suicide bomber, but that the timing device misfired.
Following the attack, the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate found for the first time clear evidence which proved that the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was encouraging and initiating militant attacks on Israeli civilians within Israel in order to advance the negotiations with Israel.
A monument has been placed near the site of the attack which was created by the artist Eliezer Weishoff. The monument depicts three roses which were cut off.
The attack is remembered among the Israeli public, in part, due to the picture taken of a six-month-old infant girl in a clown costume who survived the attack because she was saved by her mother, who protected her with her body from the force of the blast. In January 2015, the child from the photograph, since identified as Shani Winter, joined the Israeli Defense Forces, accompanied by the same traffic policewoman who carried her in the photo.
- Perry, Dan (22 March 1997). "Tel Aviv suicide bombing kills four". Times Daily. Tel Aviv. Associated Press. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Weiss, Efrad (10 November 2005). "Senior Hamas fugitive nabbed". YNet. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- LoLordo, Ann (13 April 1997). "2 Israeli families find common bond in death Hamas cell accused of killing their children and nine others". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
Israeli security and military officials now believe that the suspected bomber didn't intend to kill himself in the incident. They say the timing device misfired and Musa Ghanimat, a father of four, died accidentally.
- Immanuel, Jon (21 March 1997). "Ya'alon: Arafat okayed terror Army chiefs warn of future attacks". The Jerusalem Post.
- Weishoff, Eliezer. "Apropo Cafe Bombing Memorial". Israel Public Art. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Glickman, Eitan (4 January 2015). "Baby from Apropo Cafe bombing is all grown up - and joining the IDF". Ynetnews. Ynet News.