As left-wing activists call to “globalize the intifada,” Israelis and Americans mourned the 15 people, including seven children, who were killed 20 years ago during a terror attack. Hamas had claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Sbarro, the pizza chain restaurant where the bomber, Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri, detonated his suicide vest, trended on Twitter as family members, friends and government officials expressed their grief.
Twenty years ago today, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, killing 15 people, including 7 children and a pregnant woman.
Two of the victims were best friends from my neighborhood, Michal Raziel and Malki Roth.
May their memory be a blessing. pic.twitter.com/iTqhwv3fdD
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) August 9, 2021
15 innocent men, women & children killed. 130 more injured.
20 years ago today, a Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up inside the Sbarro pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem.
This is the enemy we’re facing.
Today, we remember the victims and continue our fight against terrorism. pic.twitter.com/26NRZ0voq8
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 9, 2021
Al-Masri was aided by Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who remains most wanted by the FBI for her role in scouting out the pizzeria and guiding the human bomb to the selected location. Al-Tamimi was initially arrested and convicted in Israel for her involvement in the bombing, but was released in a prisoner exchange. Israel released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an IDF solider who was taken into Hamas’ captivity for over five years.
Tamimi currently resides in Jordan. Despite its treaty with the U.S., Jordan continues to refuse requests for her extradition, according to The Associated Press. (RELATED: Interpol Drops Arrest Warrant for FBI Most Wanted Terrorist Who Killed 15, Including 2 American Citizens)
Following her release from Israeli prison, Al-Tamimi gave an interview on the Hamas-run Quds TV, in which she expressed delight with her role in the bombing.
“You could sense that everyone was happy,” she said, according to a translation from MEMRI.
In a different interview, she explained that she used her status as a journalism student to travel and scout locations for potential terrorist attacks.
One of the American victims, Malki Roth, was 15 years old.
“This coming week marks 20 years since the massacre at Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria. My daughter Malki was murdered as were 14 other innocents,” her father, Arnold Roth, tweeted.
This coming week marks 20 years since the massacre at Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria. My daughter Malki was murdered as were 14 other innocents. A fifteenth victim, a young mother, remains comatose. The US has charged the bomber who is sheltered by US ally Jordan. THREAD>> https://t.co/jTSsd3yDqe
— Arnold Roth (@arnoldroth) August 7, 2021
The other American victim, Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, was 31 years old and pregnant. Her unborn child also died. Moreover, 130 people were injured by the blast or shrapnel stored in the explosive device.
“There was a smell of explosives in the air and the patients arrived on stretchers directly from the site, because it was too close to even put them in ambulances. The initial moments were chaotic, it took some time before we were able to realize the extent of the catastrophe and that we were treating multiple siblings whose parents had been killed,” Chana Smadja, an emergency room nurse, recalled in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
The bombing was part of a terror campaign that became known as the Second Intifada, or uprising. Hamas and other groups began carrying out attacks in late 2000 after peace talks failed. The violence also followed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, which is considered the holiest site in Judaism. Since the site also houses the Al-Aqsa mosque, it is often a flashpoint in Jewish-Muslim and Israeli-Palestinian relations.
From 2000-2005, 1,100 Israelis and 4,907 Palestinians were killed, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.