Posted by: Lister | February 4, 2008

David Dahan survives the bombing in Dimona

Haaretz gives the story of an injured survivor:

David Dahan, a 58-year-old man disabled by a hip injury, had just finished his morning cup of coffee at a local cafe when the blast went off about two meters away.

“There was a great explosion and a great ball of fire came toward me,” said Dahan, who uses a walker to get around. “I saw him (the bomber) fall. I was hit, but I held on to my walker… My clothes were covered with his flesh.”

Dahan’s eye was covered with bloody bandages, and ball bearings were lodged inside his chest and the swollen left side of his face. A leg and arm were also injured.

The current thinking is that the bombers got into Israel via Egypt. One was a member of al-Aqsa (linked to Fatah). They both lived in Gaza. One phoned his mum from Egypt.

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the southern town of Dimona at around 10:30 A.M. Monday, killing a woman and wounding 11 others, in the first terror attack of its kind in over a year.

Negev Police Chief Yossi Porianta said that there had been two suicide bombers, but only one managed to detonate his explosives belt; the other was shot dead by security forces before he could blow himself up.

The second bomber had apparently been knocked out by the force of the first blast and was about to detonate his own belt, when rescue teams noticed the explosives and alerted police, who shot him at point blank.

[…] Abu Fouad, a spokesman for the Fatah-allied Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – which claimed responsibility for the attack – said the operation had been planned for a month, but was made possible after militants violently opened Gaza’s border with Egypt on January 23. He said the attackers sneaked into Egypt after the border breach, then crossed into Israel using unspecified private contacts. He added that Dimona was chosen because it has never been hit before.

[…] The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said it carried out the attack, claiming responsibility in communcation with international news outlets, but a Fatah official in the West Bank denied the group’s involvement.

The conflicting statements reflected divisions in Fatah as its leader Mahmoud Abbas pursues U.S.-backed peace talks with Israel for the first time in seven years.

A Fatah source said earlier that the “Army of Palestine” wing of Al-Aqsa had carried out the attack, along with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Yellow Fatah flags flew outside the Gaza home of one of the attackers, 22-year-old Luay Laghwani, and Al Aqsa gunmen fired in the air in tribute to him. His sobbing mother, Ibtissam, held up a picture of him as a young teenager, while male relatives scolded her for crying, saying she should be proud her son was a martyr.

She said her son had gone to Egypt three times after the border was breached, and last saw him on Wednesday afternoon. He gave no indication that he was about to embark on a suicide mission, she said.

The other attacker was named as 24-year-old Moussa Arafat.

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