…..it’s been over 2 years since I last ‘needed’ to write here, but, on reviewing my photo archives I came across a reportage I made on the morning of Dec. 2, 2001. It brought to mind vivid memories of an event that will never leave me.
I have been a witness to many terrorist attacks, both in Jerusalem and whilst serving my reserve duty during the first and second intifadas. In fact I have been a victim, having been stabbed in the head as I was standing at the bus stop, of a terrorist attack. Fortunately he was incompetent and I was very lucky not to be more seriously wounded.
I don’t know why this particular incident stands out particularly. Perhaps it is because my daughter, Ariella, was in the vicinity, or the fact that 11 youngsters between the age of 14 and 21 were murdered and at least another 100 wounded. Perhaps because it was a well-planned, synchronized triple attack. Possibly all three reasons.
I was TV ‘couching’ in the living room on Saturday evening, Dec .1, when, at about 11.30p.m. I heard and felt the dull thuds of a double explosion. I immediately switched channels and as expected there was already a news flash of a double suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem with numerous casualties. My first thoughts were ‘oh shit, Ariella’s there!!!’ but then the phone rang and she’d called to say that she and her friends were fine, although they were very close to the scene and that she didn’t know when she’d be home as the police had locked them into the cafe where they were sitting until the mess outside had been sorted. So that was my main worry set aside.
A few minutes later there was another thud of an explosion and the news flash reported a car-bomb around the corner had gone off. Apparently this was aimed at the rescue services.
On Sunday morning, I went to town and visited the site of the attack and found that there were a number of impromptu memorial services and visitors paying their respects to the victims, including members of the Diplomatic corps as well as simple members of the public.