Sunday 12 July 2020


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 when a bomber blew himself up outside the entrance.  Five people were killed in both attacks.

The 2005 attack took place just after 18:30 hours, 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 be around 10kg and packed with nails and ball bearings.  As with the 2001 attack they believed the intended target was the shopping mall itself, but the bomber was possibly deterred by the heavy security presence at the entrance and instead blew himself up outside, targeting the group of 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.