Palestinian homicide bomber murders two, injures 32, unarmed Israelis

The Jerusalem Post ( reports that a Palestinian homicide/suicide bomber deliberately blew himself up in a crowded mall in Kfar Saba, near Tel-Aviv:

A bomb went off Monday evening in the crowded Arim shopping center in the coastal town of Kfar Saba, apparently the work of a suicide bomber. Israel's Channel One Television reported that one Israeli was killed and 32 wounded in the attack, including two infants.
An Israeli woman is treated for shock After a Palestinian tries to murder her

The explosion occurred in an electrical goods store. Witnesses said that the blast caused wide scale devastation. The body of the bomber was still at the scene of the blast. A witness who identified himself as Eitan told Israel Radio that he arrived two minutes after the blast to see the site filled with smoke. "There was a smell of burning in the air and all the windows have been blown out.

Islamic Jihad, a militant faction, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Lebanon's Hizbullah Manar TV. The bomber was identified as Nabil Sawalha, a [Palestinian] resident of the Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Update: I just saw on Israeli TV a Police captain describing the murder. Two Israelis were killed: one of the mall's security guards who managed to stop the Palestinian assassin from slaughtering more innocent people, and a 15-year-old kid. Both were new immigrants from Argentina.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and Arafat's Al-Aksa brigades have deliberately murdered hundreds of unarmed Israelis since October 2000 when Yasser Arafat and his thugs rejected peace and started their war of terror against Israeli women and children.

For a list of all Palestinian homicide bombings, check out the Palestine page. For a partial list of victims of Palestinian terrorism, check out the Victims page.

I copy below an article that gives more information on the victims.

Two Argentinean immigrants died in Kfar Saba attack
By TOVAH LAZAROFF, Nov. 6, 2002

Gaston Perpinan loved basketball. The 15-year old Argentinean had gone to Kfar Saba Monday for a practice game, only to find out it had been cancelled. On his way home, he stopped at the Arim shopping mall.

Hours later, the police called Ilan Architecter, director of the Ra'anana Absorption Center, where Perpinan, an only child, lived with his parents since the family's arrival from Cordoba in April. Police said Perpinan's ID card had been found at the site of the suicide bombing earlier that evening which killed two and wounded 40.

His death was confirmed late Tuesday afternoon. His burial is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday. The identity of the second victim, 51, also an Argentinean immigrant, has yet to be released, but it is believed he was killed trying to prevent the attack.

A security guard at the Ra'anana center said he knew the man, because he had lived at the center when he first arrived. "He came here a year ago. He just wanted to start a new life here," the guard said.

Perpinan and his parents are among the 4,500 Argentinean immigrants who arrived here this year. In light of Argentina's economic crisis, the numbers have surged from 1,421 last year and 770 in 1998.

"What happened was very hard for us," said Architecter. The Ra'anana absorption center has 400 immigrants, most of whom are from South America, he said. People also come from neighboring cities for the center's ulpan.

In January, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the absorption center and promised the new immigrants, mostly Argentineans, that although moving here is hard, "in the end it will work out... I feel personally responsible for making sure you succeed."

Like many of immigrants, the Perpinan family came with big expectations and a great desire to become Israeli, said Architecter. Perpinan's father is an architect and his mother an interior designer. They were to move into their own apartment in 10 days.

"Gaston was a member of the youth movement in Argentina. He was a very nice, very tall boy who loved sports," Architecter recalled. "He was very close to everyone here at the absorption center. He had a lot of friends, not only from Argentina but also from other countries."

He also had many friends in his sophomore class in the Ostrovosky High School down the street from the absorption center.

A woman from the absorption center who rode on the bus with him on Monday was one of the last people to see Perpinan alive, Architecter said.
"He told her he was very happy, that very soon he is moving into his own house with his parents and that he will have his own room," he said.

One woman at the center said she had seen Perpinan's mother at a memorial service the center held for Yitzhak Rabin on Monday evening. When they heard about the suicide bombing, she called her son and was nervous when he didn't answer his cellphone. She called the hospitals and when no one had heard of him, she temporarily calmed down.
Even as the couple waited for results of DNA testing, she hoped that somehow a mistake had been made and that her son wasn't really dead, the woman said.

Standing in the absorption center's common room and watching small children run circles around their parents, Mirta Sajnin Jarowitzky said it was hard to hear of Perpinan's death.

Undeterred by violence and in flight from Argentina's economic crisis, Jarowitzky came here with her husband five months ago, seeking a better life.

Until Monday, she has been upbeat about the transition and her time in the Ra'anana absorption center. She feels for Perpinan's parents, whom she knows from the center. The family came for similar reasons, and now they have lost their son, she said.

It doesn't make her regret her decision, but news of his death has been difficult for her and the other immigrants in the center. "I feel horrible," she said. "The situation touches you. It happened to someone who lived here, and now he isn't here."

"This morning we met with two psychologists and talked about how we feel," she said, adding that a number of parents felt guilty that they put their children in danger by coming.

The Jewish Agency and the Ra'anana Municipality sent psychologists to the center to talk with immigrants and children. There were also clowns and magicians to help get the children's minds off what happened for a little while, said Sigal Bekker, an agency spokeswoman. "We're trying to give people as much support as possible," she said.

David Rudge adds:

Security measures are being heightened along the Green Line and inside the country after the suicide bombing and in light of dozens of warnings of further pending terror attacks.

Border Police patrols have been stepped up along the seam-line in the North and the Sharon, and additional police have been stationed at the entrances to towns and cities.

Of the more than 40 people admitted to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba and Beilinson and Hasharon hospitals in Petah Tikva, 12 were still hospitalized on Tuesday. One was reported to be in fair condition and the remainder suffering from light wounds.

Police and the Shin Beit are trying to trace the route used by the suicide bomber and to locate any of his accomplices.

According to the testimony of some eyewitnesses, the terrorist may have been brought to the mall in a Mercedes which reportedly drove away from the area shortly before the explosion.

Posted by David Melle
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