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Beit Yisrael Massacre

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The Beit Yisrael Massacre of March 5, 2002 was a  Palestinian suicide bombing attack.

Ten people were killed and over 50 were injured, 4 critically, in a suicide bombing at 19:15 on Saturday evening near a yeshiva in the ultra-Orthodox Beit Yisrael neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem where people had gathered for a bar-mitzva celebration. The 11th victim, Avraham Eliahu Nehmad, 17, of Rishon Lezion, died of his injuries on June 20.

The terrorist detonated the bomb next to a group of women waiting with their baby carriages for their husbands to leave the nearby synagogue following sundown prayers marking the end of the Sabbath. Those killed included an infant and her six-year-old brother; a mother and her three-year-old son; a 12-year-old boy; and four other adults. Five of those killed were from the same family. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the attack but so also did the Hamas.

The Hazan family of Moshav Bnei Ayish near Ashdod had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the bar mitzvah of their son Naveh. The bomber blew himself up outside the building just as the family and guests were leaving. Several family members and friends were wounded. The tragedy was even worse for the Hajabi family, which was also celebrating their son's bar mitzvah. Some of the dead were members of this family.

This part of Jerusalem  has been part of Israel since before1948. It is in the "new city" built by Jews. The victims were not "settlers" or "colonists" or religious fanatics.


- Shlomo Nehmad (40), his wife Gafnit (32), and their daughters Shiraz (7) and Liran (3), of Rishon Lezion;
- Shaul Nehmad (15), nephew of Shlomo and Gafnit;
- Lidor Ilan (12) and his sister Oriah (18 months), of Jerusalem;
- Tzofia Ya'arit Eliyahu (23) and her son Ya'akov Avraham (7 months), of Jerusalem.
- Avi Hazan, 37, of Moshav Adora, died of his injuries on Monday morning (Mar 4).
- Avraham Eliahu Nehmad, 7, of Rishon Lezion, (brother of Shaul Nehmad) died of his injuries on June 20.  

In March of 2011,  Riad al Malki, the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority  stated at the time of the Itamar Massacre:

The killing of an infant and the slaughtering of people ... was never carried out by any Palestinians for national motives or revenge.

Ami Isseroff

March 15, 2011

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright © 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


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