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Passover Massacre

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Passover Massacre - On March 27, 2002, as Israelis were celebrating  Passover, thirty people were killed and 140 injured; 20 seriously, in a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya, in the midst of the Passover holiday Seder  with 250 guests. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims were mostly elderly people who  celebrating at the hotel because they had no families.

The terrorist walked into the dining room of the hotel, in the center of the city, and detonated an explosive device. The terrorist was identified as Abdel-Basset Odeh, a member of the Hamas Iz a Din al-Kassam Brigades, from the West Bank city of Tulkarem, which is 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Netanya. He was on the list of wanted terrorists Israel had requested be arrested.

A year later, on April 14, the four Palestinian Hamas terrorists who planned the Park Hotel Passover massacre in Netanya were sentenced to 29 life terms and another 20 years in prison.

In 2009, the Hamas masterminds of the bombing were arrested by Israeli special forces. Hamas terrorists Muhammad Hariush and Adnan Samara were picked up by a Duvdevan special forces unit working together with Border Police officers, a Yamam commando unit and agents from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). The two were caught in the village of Tzurif. Hariush ad been arrested and jailed by the Palestinian Authority in 2004, but was released only two years later and promptly resumed his terrorist activities.

The attack came after an month of intensive attacks, in which over 100 people were murdered. It motivated the Israeli government decision to end the restraint shown at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and enter the West Bank in force in Operation Defensive Shield. It also caused the government to begin construction of the Security Fence. 

Victims: Shula Abramovitch, 63, of Holon; David Anichovitch, 70, of Netanya; Sgt.-Maj. Avraham Beckerman, 25, of Ashdod; Shimon Ben-Aroya, 42, of Netanya; Alter Britvich, 88, of Netanya; Frieda Britvich, 86, of Netanya; Andre Fried, 47, of Netanya; Idit Fried, 47, of Netanya; Miriam Gutenzgan, 82, Ramat Gan; Amiram Hamami, 44, of Netanya; Perla Hermele, 79, of Sweden; Dvora Karim, 73, of Netanya; Michael Karim, 78, of Netanya; Eliezer Korman, 74, of Ramat Hasharon; Yehudit Korman, 70, of Ramat Hasharon; Marianne Myriam Lehmann Zaoui, 77, of Netanya; Lola Levkovitch, 70, of Jerusalem; Sarah Levy-Hoffman, 89, of Tel-Aviv; Furuk Na'imi, 62, of Netanya; Eliahu Nakash, 85, of Tel-Aviv; Chanah Rogan, 90, of Netanya; Irit Rashel, 45, of Moshav Herev La'et; Clara Rosenberger, 77, of Jerusalem; Yulia Talmi, 87, of Tel-Aviv; St.-Sgt. Sivan Vider, 20, of Bekaot; Zee'v Vider, 50, of Moshav Bekaot; Ernest Weiss, 80, of Petah Tikva; Eva Weiss, 75, of Petah Tikva; Anna Yakobovitch, 78, of Holon; George Yakobovitch, 76, of Holon.

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.

On March 28, 2011, The Palestinian Authority honored the family of Abbas Al-Sayid who planned the attacks and who is currently in prison. Issa Karake, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, visited the family of al-Sayid, a Hamas member and awarded them an official, festive plaque, in celebration of the anniversary of the massacre.

Ami Isseroff

March 21, 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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