December 2, 2001
Maher Habashi, a 21-year-old Palestinian plumber from Nablus, boards a No. 16 Egged bus driving from Neve Sha’anan to the Giborim bridge in Haifa just after noon and, moments after paying for his ticket, activates an explosive device concealed beneath his clothes. The blast turns the bus into a fireball that smashes into another bus in downtown Haifa. Part of the Second Intifada, the bombing kills Habashi and 15 passengers, ages 23 to 78. An additional 35 people are injured, 17 of them critically.
The bus bombing happens only 12 hours after three terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, including two suicide bombings, kill 12 people and wound more than 180 others. Hamas claims responsibility for all four attacks, which Israeli and Palestinian officials denounce as outrageous. U.S. President George W. Bush says he is “horrified and saddened” and urges the Palestinian Authority to live up to its promises with actions that demonstrate a commitment to fighting terrorism by countering organizations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Those killed in the Haifa bombing are Haifa residents Rasem Safulin, 78, Leah Strick, 73, Cicilia Kozamin, 76, Faina Zabiogailu, 64, Mara Fishman, 53, Ronen Kahalon, 30, Samion Kalik, 64, Mikhael Zaraisky, 71, Yitzhak Ringle, 41, Ina Frenkel, 60, Tatiana Borovik, 23, Yelena Lumkin, 62, and Mark Khotimliansky, 75; Yokneam resident Riki Hadad, 30; and Batangas, Philippines, resident Rosaria Reyes, 42.