JERUSALEM (Oct. 22)
A retired schoolteacher. A young border police officer. A dedicated soldier due to complete his service.
These were three of the 13 victims of Monday’s suicide car bombing against a bus in northern Israel.
On Tuesday, Israeli officials revised the number killed in Monday’s suicide bombing from 14 to 13.
The revision was made after officials confirmed that there were two, not one, suicide bombers responsible for the attack, according to Israel Radio. The condition of some of the bodies has made identification difficult.
Israel’s transportation minister, Ephraim Sneh, said Tuesday that some 80 additional guards were expected to be recruited to help secure buses.
But he acknowledged the guards could only help keep suicide bombers from boarding the public transportation. There was little they could do, he said, to prevent a car bomb from blowing up beside a bus — even as Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, said the destructive power of such car bombings had made them the group’s weapon of choice.
A day after the attack, six people had been positively identified.
Pathologists said the identification process had to be done by blood samples, a much slower process, because the state of the remains could not be matched up to other information supplied by families of missing Israelis, such as height, hair color and distinctive markings, the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot reported.
Those identified were Iris Lavi, 68, of Netanya; Ofra Burger, 56, of Hod Hasharon; Sgt. Maj. Eliezer Moscowitz, 40, of Petach Tikva; Cpl. Ilona Hanokiev, 20, of Hadera; Staff Sgt. Nir Nahum, 20, of Carmiel; and Border Police Staff Sgt. Iman Sharuf, 20, of Usfiya.
Following her retirement four years ago, longtime elementary school educator Ofra Burger had immersed herself in volunteer work. Her favorite project was the environment.
“I will remember Ofra as a woman who cared,” said the deputy mayor of Hod Hasharon, Moshe Erez. “She was very involved in community life. When any harm was done to the environment, she would call and inform us.”
Burger was known to parents, teachers and students throughout the community, Erez said.
Burger had gone to visit her sick mother in Tiberias and was returning home on the bus when the attack occurred. She is survived by her husband and three children.
Iman Sharuf had spent the past two years serving with the border police in Hebron.
He was stationed at the border police memorial in the past week after being injured in a traffic accident. Sharuf boarded the Egged bus near the memorial shortly before the blast.
Friends described Sharuf as a quiet person, who had ambitions to advance within the military framework.
“Iman loved his family, he took care of his parents and his entire home,” the paper quoted a family friend as saying. He is survived by his parents and four siblings.
Nir Nahum was due to come home Thursday on a weekend leave, but the car in which he hitched a ride had just passed the Egged bus when the explosion occurred.
Nahum served as a company sergeant in the artillery corps. His father said he believed his son had traveled to Karkur junction to bring something to one of the troops.
“Nir was someone who was always thinking about how to contribute to the battalion and the soldiers,” said his father, Rami, a reserve major. “He was an outstanding youth, and I’m not saying this because he is my son. As a company commander in the army, I’ve seen all kinds of soldiers, and a boy like this I’ve never met.”
A neighbor described Nahum as a quiet, modest person who made his parents proud. Nahum was scheduled to complete his compulsory army service in six months. He is survived by his parents and four siblings.