DAILY MAIL : February 5 2008
From Matthew Kalman in Jerusalem
SUICIDE bombers struck in Israel for the first time in a year
yesterday, killing a woman at a shopping mall.
But the carnage could have been much worse as only one of the two
bombers involved managed to detonate his bomb.
The second Palestinian was knocked over by the blast when his comrade
blew himself up in the town of Dimona.
An Israeli doctor, thinking the stunned man was one of the wounded,
ran to his side and tore open his jacket, only to discover he was
wearing a suicide belt. As the doctor backed away a policeman stepped
up and shot the Palestinian at point-blank range, killing him.
The blast occurred only a couple of miles from Israel's most sensitive
military site, the nuclear reactor in the desert just outside Dimona.
The Palestinians came from Gaza and entered Israel via the Sinai
Desert through the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
The border was breached two weeks ago when Hamas blew up the barrier
and smashed through it with bulldozers.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Al-Aqsa Brigades of
Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In Gaza, residents handed out sweets and flowers and fired into the
air to celebrate.
Al-Aqsa Brigades spokesman Abu Fouad boasted that 'the attack has been
planned for a month, but was only made possible after gunmen bombed
He identified the bombers as Mussa Arafat, 23, and Lawai Abwaini, 20.
Arafat's father said: 'Thank God he died a martyr.'
In the alley outside Abwaini's home in Gaza City, the bomber's father
held up a picture of his son and praised him as a hero.
But his mother Ibtissam, remained inside, sitting on a mattress on the
floor and sobbing uncontrollably. She said she had learned of her
son's death from neighbours.
She cowered when her husband and other men in the family reprimanded
her for grieving.
Dr Baruch Mandeltzwieg, a local doctor who tried to treat the injured
in Dimona, said the second bomber was bleeding from the head when he
ran up to try to help him.
'His head was moving,' said Dr Mandeltzwieg.
'We started to treat him and then we saw an explosive belt … I managed
to see a small gas canister and small plastic bags attached to his
Tony Blair, special peace envoy for the Middle East, who is due in the
area today for talks, condemned the bombing as a 'despicable act of