UPDATE: 6:06 pm Monday. There have been multiple incoming missile sirens in the last 24 hours with Palestinian missiles assaulting Sderot and Sha’ar Hanegev.
On some days, it is necessary to recall sad days in Israeli history. April 9th is one of those days because of two horrific terrorist events that occurred, and because of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many.
On the morning of April 9, 1995, a Palestinian “construction worker” rammed his car into Egged bus 36 running from Ashkelon to northern Gaza and detonated a bomb attached to his steering column. The ensuing blast killed seven Israeli soldiers and one American civilian:
- Staff-Sgt. Yuval Regev, 20, of Holon
- Staff-Sgt. Meir Scheinwald, 20, of Tzfat
- Sgt. Itai Diener, 19, of Rishon Lezion
- Sgt. Zvi Narbat, 19, of Rishon Lezion
- Sgt. Netta Sufrin, 20, of Rishon Lezion
- Cpl. Tal Nir, 19, of Kibbutz Mefalsim
- Sgt. Avraham Arditi, 19, of Jerusalem
- Alisa Flatow, 20, of the United States
Alisa Flatow was a student from West Orange, New Jersey attending Brandeis University. Following her death, her family sued the Iranian government, and in 1998, a U.S. Federal District judge ordered the Iranians to pay $247.5 million dollars in damages to the Flatow family. The family subsequently established the “The Alisa Flatow Memorial Scholarship” to provide funds for students who wish to pursue traditional Jewish studies. The fund still operates today.
At the time, the number of IDF deaths in this suicide bomb attack was the greatest number of IDF soldiers killed since the early 1980s in Lebanon.
Until 7 years later.
On April 1, 2002, the IDF decided that it had to enter Jenin in order to root out the cells of Palestinian suicide bombers which had been slaughtering Israeli civilians. In a highly controversial action designed to protect Palestinian “civilians”, IDF commanders opted to use less than maximum force—thereby exposing Israeli soldiers to greater dangers as they were forced to proceed house by house without aerial support.
On April 9, 2002, an IDF patrol of reservists was ambushed by Palestinian terrorists who had lured them into a bowl-shaped position. In the ensuing carnage, Palestinians firing from rooftops, detonating explosive charges, and using a suicide bomber killed 13 Israeli soldiers.
Following this disastrous ambush, all Israeli forces began using armored bulldozers and Achzarit APCs in their push and relying on missile strikes from helicopters. Several IDF officers demanded that F-16s be sent in to drop bombs, but the IDF High Command led by Shaul Mofaz (the same Mofaz just elected as the new leader of the Kadima party) refused.
Nevertheless, two days later, the battle for Jenin was over.
It is fair to say that following the Jenin incident, the movement of the Israeli populace to the political “right” accelerated.
In sum, April the 9th is a sad day that will never be forgotten in the annals of Israeli history.