Hizma Checkpoint Bomb Drama

One of 9 bombs planted at Hizma Checkpoint between the Palestinian Authority and Israel exploded yesterday evening (Tuesday), leaving one Israeli soldier with serious injuries to his face and head. Israeli forces are still seeking the Arab terrorists.

Israel has not been attacked by means of roadside bombs such as these in a long time. According to Debkafile, an independent news site, this represents a significant escalation in terror attacks.

At about 10 p.m. Tuesday evening (Israel time – about 3 p.m. EST), 2 Israeli soldiers approached a suspicious package at Hizma Checkpoint. It detonated without warning, causing light injuries to one soldier’s hands and seriously injuring the other. The still unnamed army officer remains in serious but not critical condition. He will undergo surgery later this morning at Hadassa Hospital in Jerusalem.

Israeli news site,Walla, suggests that the bombs were set to go off together that evening, coinciding with Israel’s Memorial Day. Memorial Day ceremonies began at 8 p.m., 2 hours before the bomb exploded. It marks national mourning for the loss of Israeli soldiers during all of Israel’s wars beginning with the War of Independence, fought in 1948.

As a result of the terror attack, the checkpoint was closed immediately. All checkpoints between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were scheduled to be closed, in any case, between 1 a.m. Wednesday (6 p.m. EST Tuesday) and midnight Thursday (5 p.m. EST Thursday) in order to reduce the chances for terrorists to attack large gatherings that take place in Israel during Memorial Day and Independence Day. Memorial Day ceremonies are conducted both at 8 p.m. and at 11 a.m. the following morning. Immediately after the morning ceremony, the country begins to prepare for Independence Day celebrations that begin that same evening. All day Thursday is a holiday in Israel, traditionally celebrated by visits to national parks, museums and army bases, with barbecues in parks and backyards at the end of the day.

The morning of the Hizma bombing, two women, aged 82 and 86, were moderately injured by masked Arab terrorists who stalked their group of 5 elderly people walking along a popular trail in southern Jerusalem. The trail, called Armon Hanatziv Promenade is a well-known trail frequented by joggers and tourists. The two assailants, who stabbed the women, are still being sought by Israeli security forces.

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