Refrigerator Bomb Kills 14 in Jerusalem
Zion Square. Photo: National Photo Collection of Israel

July 4, 1975

Fourteen people are killed and 62 others are wounded when a bomb hidden inside a refrigerator explodes in Jerusalem’s Zion Square at 10 a.m.

The bomb inside the Amcor-10 refrigerator was built with mortar shells. Two men in a Volkswagen truck with a license plate connecting it to Nablus drove the refrigerator to Zion Square, and one of the men carted the appliance onto the sidewalk and leaned it against a wall minutes before the blast.

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Fatah faction claims responsibility for the bombing. Newspapers across the Arab world praise the attack as a strike against the Zionist enemy, as well as a warning to those who seek partial agreements.

The bombing is unsolved until September 1976 when a man who is arrested entering Israel, Ahmad Ibrahim Jbara, known as Abu Sukar, confesses to helping plan the attack. He implicates Bassam Tbila, a Nablus resident, as the explosives expert who worked on the refrigerator bomb and delivered it with another man while Jbara left for Jordan en route to Syria.

Tbila escapes to Syria through Jordan before Israel can arrest him, and the third man is never caught. Abu Sukar is convicted in July 1977 and sentenced to consecutive life sentences plus 30 years. He is released in 2003 as a goodwill gesture of the Israeli government.