äîéãò îòåãëï ìúàøéê éåìé 2002

The massacre in Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant

The massacre in Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant

Eight children killed in a terror attack during summer vacation When the terrorist entered the Sbarro restaurant in midtown Jerusalem, he knew – he saw – that it was filled with families and children. The result:15 dead and dozens injured.

It was nearly 2 o’clock in the afternoon on August 9,2001.Dozens of people – parents,babies,young children,teenagers – filled the Italian restaurant on King George Street in the heart of Jerusalem on a warm summer day. The terrorist entered the restaurant carrying a bag filled with a large explosive device – at least ten kilograms of explosives – packed with screws, nails and bolts. The terrorist looked around, saw the happy crowd, saw the faces of the children and young girls, and detonated the bomb.

That the device exploded in a closed area made the outcome more ghastly. All those present in the restaurant were hurt: 15 were killed and 130 wounded. Even those who had witnessed previous explosions said they had never seen such a terrible sight. “The brain simply cannot absorb what the eyes see, ”said the owner of a nearby shop. “Children and old people were strewn injured among mangled bodies and amputated limbs. A woman ran out searching for her baby that had been in a stroller.The stroller flew out into the street,a nd she found it – but it was empty.”

Among the dead and injured were seven members of a single family – the Schijveschuurder family from the community of Neriya. Five of them were killed: the father, mother and three of their children,
Ra'aya, 14, Avraham Yitzhak, 4, and Hemda, 2
Two daughters – Leah, 11, and Haya, 8 – were very seriously wounded.
“The last time I saw my brother Avraham Yitzhak,” recalled Haya Schijveschuurder from her hospital bed, “he was lying on a stretcher in an ambulance. He had a bandage on his face. He was four years old. Now our parents are not alive either. But soon the Messiah will come and all the people that have died, and all the people killed in wars and terror attacks, will come back to life.

“We were hungry, so Mommy said we could go to a restaurant to eat.In that restaurant, you have to pay first and only afterwards you sit down to eat. When we were at the cash register, we suddenly heard an explosion. I ran out as fast as I could. I didn’t look at anything. I just ran out.A medic, I don’t know his name, took me to an ambulance and that is where I saw Avraham Yitzhak for the last time.

“I said to him, ‘Avraham Yitzhak.’ But he didn’t say anything. After that they took me on a stretcher to the hospital, and I had to have an operation to remove the screws that entered my liver and leg. I saw a sign on the door that said ‘Operating Room’ and started to cry. After that I didn’t see anything.

“In my house, they are sitting ‘shiva’ right now. My brothers came here with their torn shirts. I asked them ‘Why are your shirts torn?’ but they didn’t want to tell me that my parents were dead. My brothers were not with us in the restaurant. They found me first. After that, they found out that my sister and my brother were dead.

“My little sister was always happy. I remember her so well. She used to laugh all day long. On the day of the terror attack she was very happy. Daddy went to the bank, and we went into the restaurant and asked if we could order first and pay later, after Daddy came. They said no – so we went to wait for him at the bank. When he came out, we returned to the restaurant, and that’s when the explosion occurred. I loved that restaurant very much. It had very, very good pizza.”

The doctors would not allow Haya to participate in the funerals of her parents and siblings.Her 11-year-old sister Leah was brought to the cemetery on a stretcher.


Tamara Mesengiser (Simshilashvili), 8.5,
immigrated to Israel in late 2000 from Tbilisi, Georgia, and lived with her family in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood. Tamara had only been in the Pisgat Ze’ev elemen-tary school for a few months, but was already considered an excellent pupil. On the day of the attack, she went to have lunch with her mother Lily at the restaurant.Both were killed in the explosion.


Malka Roth, 15, and Michal Raziel, 16,
were not only neighbors, they were also best friends. “They were together all the time, ”related Malka’s father.“ They went to the Ezra youth movement together,they went out to eat together in town–and always to Sbarro.”

On the day of the attack, Malka’s parents got a call from Ezra telling them that Malka had not arrived for the staff meeting she was scheduled to participate in. Her parents began to worry. Her mother began calling the hospitals, but Malka’s name was not on the lists of the wounded. Only later did her parents discover that Malka had arranged to meet her best friend Michal for lunch at Sbarro. They identified Malka’s body at the Abu Kabir Forensic Medicine Institute in Tel Aviv.

Malka was filled with joie de vivre and was liked by all her friends. She was poised to start 11th grade at Horev School in Jerusalem.

Michal Raziel, studied at Ohr Torah Stone in Ramot, Jerusalem and – like Malka – a counselor in the Ezra movement. Michal was sensitive and caring and loved by her classmates. Her parents searched for her for hours,fearing the worst. Only in the evening did her mother hear of her daughter’s death from her sister, a nurse at the Shaarei Zedek hospital, were Michal was brought, and where she was pronounced dead.


Yocheved Shoshan, 10,
came to the restaurant together with her mother and four sisters. When the food was ready, Yocheved and her sister Miriam Sarah, 15, got up to bring the trays. At exactly that moment the explosion hit.Yocheved was killed instantly. Her sister was hospitalized in very serious condition. When she awoke in the hospital’s intensive care unit, the first question she asked was “Where is my sister Yocheved? How is she?”
No one dared tell her the terrible truth.


Tehila Maoz, 19,
born in Jerusalem, completed her studies at the Geva High School and was about to join the army. She used the days until then to earn money, working as a cashier at the Sbarro restaurant. That is where the suicide terrorist found her. Tehila, who came from a religious family, was very sociable and especially close to her family.

She had planned to take her older brother’s three children to the zoo the day after the terror attack. That plan, like all her other plans and dreams, was destroyed in one horrific moment by the terrorist’s bomb.