(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
This morning, two Palestinian suicide terrorists carried out an attack against Israeli civilians shopping at a mall in the southern Israeli town of Dimona. One Israeli was killed, 38 were wounded - one critically, and two moderately.
Both terrorists were killed in the attack - the first detonated himself in the initial explosion, and the second was killed by an alert police officer as he was about to detonate his suicide bomb against the rescuers who were rushing to help the wounded.
The bombers deliberately chose to detonate themselves in a semi-enclosed crowed shopping area in order to kill and maim as many civilians as possible. The foreign media has reported that a Hamas statement from Gaza praised the attack, calling it an “heroic act”.
In response to the attack, the Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman stated:
"In their terror attack today, the Palestinian terrorist organizations have shown once again, who they are and what they stand for.
Just like the Kassam rocket fire on Sderot and the sniper fire on Israeli fields bordering Gaza, today's attack deliberately targeted innocent civilians.
Worse yet, the terrorists’ plan was to detonate a second suicide bomb against the rescue workers and ambulances rushing to assist the victims at the scene of the initial bombing. Imagine the carnage that would have been created if not for the heroic act of an off-duty policeman who identified and neutralized the second terrorist before he detonated himself.
Plain and simple: The terrorists' goal is to kill as many Israeli civilians as they can, wherever and whenever they can - in their homes, schools and shopping centers.
Israel will continue to fight this murderous terrorism, and will act in keeping with its right, and its duty, to protect the lives of its citizens."
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Israel Ambassador Dan Gillerman to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (4 Jan 2008):
This alarming and fatal act of Palestinian terrorism demonstrates very cleaerly what the terrorist organizations stand for and what they are trying to accomplish. Like the daily Kassam rocket attacks, this terrorist attack was deliberately targeted at civilians, with the express purpose of maiming and murdering them. Moreover, the second terrorist waited specifically until rescue workers arrived to attempt to detonate his bomb. If not for the heroism of the police officer, the terrorists would have succeeded in killing countless others.