Friday, 12 July 2019


Palestinian Islamic Jihad bombed a busy shopping area in the Israeli city of Netanya.  Suicide bomber Ahmed Abu Khalil blew himself up on a pedestrian crossing near the entrance to the HaSharon shopping mall, a site targeted previously by Hamas in 2001.  As with the previous attack, the bomber killed five people.

The attack took place in the evening, just after 18:30, Khalil detonating his device as he passed a group of young females.  Two of them were killed instantly - 16-year-olds Rachel Ben Abu and Nofar Horowitz.  Around 90 other people were injured in the explosion, three of whom died of their injuries in the hours and days that followed.

Khalil was an 18-year-old student from the West Bank.  Police estimated his device to weigh around 10kg and packed with nails and ball bearings.  As with the previous (Hamas) attack they believed the intended target was the shopping mall itself, but once again the bomber may have been deterred by the heavy security presence and blew himself up prematurely, targeting the female shoppers.

Investigators examine the scene of the bombing
The five victims were named as follows.

Rachel Ben Abu, 16, from Tel Aviv.  She was killed instantly alongside her best friend Nofar Horowitz.  She was survived by her mother and two brothers.
Nofar Horowitz, 16, from Tel Aviv.  She was killed instantly alongside her best friend Rachel Ben Abu.  She was survived by her parents and two sisters.
Julia Voloshin, 31, from Netanya.  A restaurant worker, Julia died from her injuries in hospital later that night.  She was survived by her husband.
Anya Lifshitz, 50, from Netanya.  She had gone to the mall with her daughter and 3-year-old granddaughter who were both seriously injured.  Anya died from her injuries the following day.  She was survived by her husband, daughter and granddaughter.
Cpl Moshe Maor Jan, 21, from Tel Aviv.  Cpl Jan was a soldier, but was off duty at the time of the attack.  He died from his injuries two days later and was survived by his wife.