Mike's Place suicide bombing

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Mike's Place suicide bombing
Part of the al-Aqsa Intifada
Mike's Place a few days after the bombing
The attack site is located in Tel Aviv
The attack site
The attack site
The attack site is located in Central Israel
The attack site
The attack site
LocationTel Aviv, Israel
Coordinates32°4′38.22″N 34°46′0.57″E / 32.0772833°N 34.7668250°E / 32.0772833; 34.7668250
DateApril 30, 2003
12:45 am
Attack type
Suicide attack
WeaponsExplosive belt
Deaths3 Israeli civilians (+ 1 bomber)
Injured+50 civilians
PerpetratorsHamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility

The Mike's Place suicide bombing was a Palestinian suicide attack, perpetrated by Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades affiliated British Muslims, at Mike's Place, a bar in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 30, 2003, killing three civilians and wounding 50.

First attack[edit]

Preparations for the attack[edit]

The two assailants entered Israel from Jordan, via the Allenby Bridge.[1]

They reached the scene of the attack from a nearby hotel where they had rented a room. Investigators who later searched their room discovered an elastic belt, explosives and a map of downtown Tel Aviv, on which several crowded venues, including Mike's Place, were clearly marked.[1]

The attack[edit]

At 12:45 am on April 30, 2003, the suicide bomber approached Mike's Place and blew himself up at the entrance. The force of the blast killed three people and injured over 50. One of the wounded was security guard Avi Tabib, who managed to block the suicide bomber, preventing him from entering the bar and causing further fatalities.[2]


After the attack, the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility for the attack. In addition, Hamas spokesman identified the perpetrators as British Muslims Asif Muhammad Hanif, 22, from London and Omar Khan Sharif, 27, from Derby.[3]

Failed second bombing[edit]

Memorial for victims of the bombing

Immediately after the first attack the other suicide bomber, who was carrying a concealed explosive belt, was supposed to carry out another attack but his explosive device failed to detonate. This second suicide bomber, who may have been injured at that point from the explosion, threw away his explosive belt and fled the scene. He reached the David Intercontinental Hotel in the Menashiya residential neighborhood of Jaffa and struggled with the security guard at the entrance trying to steal his ID, but he did not manage to do so. An examination of the unexploded bomb discarded by Omar Khan Sharif showed that it had been hidden in a book and contained standard explosives.[4]

The body of the second suicide bomber was washed ashore on the Tel Aviv beachfront on May 12 and was eventually identified on May 19, 2003. Forensic experts said he had drowned.[5]

Subsequent related events[edit]

Despite the events of that day, the bar reopened on Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence Day.[6]

ISM visit controversy[edit]

On April 25, five days before the attack, Hanif and Sharif had visited International Solidarity Movement (ISM) office, and after chatting for 15 minutes with an ISM volunteer, the men joined a group of 20 people to lay flowers at the site of Rachel Corrie's death for 10 minutes.[7][8][9]

ISM said activists Hanif and Sharif appeared to be "typical Brits."[10] An ISM volunteer reported that the bombers had been among a group of 'alternative tourists' who were offered tea when they paid an unscheduled visit to an ISM office on the way to a memorial for Rachel Corrie.[11]

Cultural references[edit]

A documentary called Blues by the Beach, about the Tel Aviv Mike's Place, the suicide attack at the bar, and the people affected by it, was directed by American-Israeli filmmaker Joshua Faudem and produced by Jack Baxter, who was seriously injured while making the film.[12]

The Jerusalem branch appears in the film The Holy Land, about a wayward Yeshiva student. The director, Eitan Gorlin, worked as one of the bar's first bartenders in 1994.[13]

The attack is mentioned in the TV series The Blacklist by the main character Raymond Reddington, as he describes the aftermath created by the explosion.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Details of April 30- 2003 Tel Aviv suicide bombing - 3-Jun-2003". Archived from the original on 2004-04-23.
  2. ^ Khazzoom, Loolwa (September 29, 2003). "Tel Aviv bar and bomb target slowly getting its groove back". jewishsf.com. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  3. ^ "The British suicide bombers". The Guardian. May 1, 2003. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Details of April 30, 2003 Tel Aviv suicide bombing Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  5. ^ "Body identified as 'suicide bomber'". BBC News. May 19, 2003.
  6. ^ Myre, Greg (May 8, 2003). "Tel Aviv Journal; Shunning Tragedy, Filmmaker Is Caught in One". New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
  7. ^ Radical Islam rising: Muslim extremism in the West, Quintan Wiktorowicz, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005, page 1.
  8. ^ "Haaretz - Israel News - Article". Archived from the original on 2004-04-19.
  9. ^ The Independent[dead link]
  10. ^ Bomb Britons "visited Gaza", BBC News, May 5, 2003; Malik, Shiv. NS Profile - Omar Sharif, New Statesman, April 25, 2006.
  11. ^ Alon, Gideon (May 15, 2003). "MKs in a huff over ISM peace activists". Ha'aretz. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  12. ^ Myre, Greg (May 8, 2003). "Tel Aviv Journal; Shunning Tragedy, Filmmaker Is Caught in One". New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
  13. ^ Hansen, Suzy (July 22, 2003). "Rebel from the yeshiva". salon.com. Archived from the original on April 17, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  14. ^ "The Blacklist" Cape May (TV Episode 2016) - IMDb, retrieved 2022-04-02

External links[edit]