National Geographic: June 1995 Issue

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Taken from a 15-year-old National Geographic article, Don Belt recounts a very horrific incident in Galilee, Israel. Unfortunately, this was not the first conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis nor would it be the last:

“School let out early on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day- April 6, a Wednesday- in the quiet Galilee town of Afula. Just down the road and around the corner from Palti Sella’s house, Jewish students from two nearby junior high schools chatted and laughed as they waited for a bus to take them home. Asher Attia pulled bus number 340 up to the curb and prepared to take on passengers. As he opened the door, a light-blue Opel swung in front of the bus as if to park. Then its driver pushed a button on a metal box, connected by wire to a bomb strapped behind the rear seat.
“By the next morning, when Annie and I arrived on the scene, all Israel- and much of the world- knew the gruesome details. Eight people died and more than 40 were wounded in the explosion, which the bomber intensified by placing two gas canisters and a bag of eight-penny nails in the car. The driver, who was also killed, was identified as a young Palestinian from the West Bank.
“A terrorist group called Hamas, which considers all of former Palestine sacred Islamic territory, claimed responsibility for the attack and vowed that it was the first of many, to avenge an act of terrorism committed by a Jewish extremist just weeks before- the massacre of dozens of Arab worshipers in a Hebron mosque. Both acts were intended to sabotage the peace negotiations.

-Don Belt, “Living in the Shadow of Peace: Israel’s Galillee”

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