Israel marks 19th anniversary of gruesome Sbarro bombing

Nineteen years ago a Palestinian suicide bomber murdered 15 people and wounded 130 in a horrific terror attack.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

On the afternoon of August 9, 2001, a Palestinian terrorist from the Hamas terror group walked into the crowded Sbarro Pizza store in downtown Jerusalem and blew himself up, killing 15 innocent people and wounding 130 more in one of the more brutal attacks celebrated by the Palestinians.

The dead included seven children and almost wiped out the Schijveschuurder family, killing the parents Mordechai and Tzira along with three of their children: Hemda, who was only two years old; Avraham-Yitzhak, 4, and Raaya, 14. Two other daughters, Leah, 11, and Chaya, 8, were critically injured. Three brothers had stayed home that day.

Chaya Schijveschuurder was eight years old when she suffered severe burns and other injuries to all parts of her body. In 2012, she was selected as one of the 120 outstanding soldiers who received a special presidential citation on Israel’s 64th Independence Day. Two years ago she married, and in January this year gave birth to a son Rafael-Matan, named after her father, Israel Hayom reported.

Although several of the perpetrators of the bombing were caught and convicted for their crimes, they and the family of the suicide bomber have received close to $1 million in payments from the Palestinian Authority in its pay-for-slay compensation for committing terrorism, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

As part of the 2011 deal for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, terrorist Ahlam Tamimi was set free and moved to Jordan. Tamimi, who scouted the location and transported the bomber, remains not just unrepentant, but proud of her part in the murders.

Jordan has rejected several U.S. demands to extradite Tamimi to stand trial in America, as two of the Sbarro bombing victims were American citizens: Malki Roth, 15, and Judy Greenbaum, 31, who was pregnant when murdered.

U.S.-based Sbarro Pizza sold its Israeli operations in 2011 to a local company, and the last Sbarro-branded outlet in Israel closed in 2013.

Today, the location is operated by the Israeli bakery chain Neeman Bakery.