Bat Mitzvah massacre

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Bat Mitzvah massacre
Part of the Second Intifada militancy campaign
The attack site is located in Central Israel
The attack site
The attack site
Location Hadera, Israel
Date January 17, 2002
9:45 pm (GMT+2)
Attack type
Mass shooting, massacre, murder-suicide, suicide bombing
Weapons M16 assault rifle
Deaths 7 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Abdul Salaam Sadek Hassouneh
(al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility)

The Bat Mitzvah massacre was a terrorist attack in Hadera, Israel, on Thursday, January 17, 2002, in which a Palestinian gunman, 24-year-old Abdul Salaam Sadek Hassouneh, killed six people and wounded 33 at a Bat Mitzvah celebration, a traditional Jewish celebration held for a 12-year-old girl.[1][2]


The attack took place at 9:45 pm (GMT+2) as guests were departing.[3] The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades assumed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was vengeance for the killing of its leader Raed Karmi. An Israeli police spokesman said the man, apparently on a suicide mission, had thrown several grenades into the Armon David wedding hall, where the Bat Mitzvah celebration had taken place, and detonated explosives on himself. A belt filled with explosives was found on the attacker.[1]


Media coverage[edit]

The Al Jazeera television network was criticized for bias in coverage of the massacre, failing to note that the victims were attending a bat mitzvah and that the gunman crashed the event at a crowded banquet hall, and failing to mention the number of people killed by Raed Karmi when covering his assassination several days earlier, which would have provided context for the story.[5]


The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said the attacker, 24-year-old Abdel Salam Hassouna, was from a village near Nablus and launched the attack to avenge the death of Raed Karmi.[1]

After the attack a video made earlier by the attacker was released, in which he is seen declaring: "I am doing this to avenge all the Palestinian martyrs."[5]

Official reactions[edit]

Involved parties


 Palestinian territories:

  •  United States: the US government condemned the Hadera attack "in the strongest possible terms," calling it a "horrific act of terrorism."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bat mitzvah massacre in Israel leaves seven dead, Phil Reeves, 18 January 2002
  2. ^ Jackson, Brian A. (2007). Breaching the Fortress Wall: Understanding Terrorist Efforts to Overcome Defensive Technologies. Rand Corporation. ISBN 9780833039149. 
  3. ^ a b c Gunman kills 6 Israelis; jets fire missiles in response, January 18, 2002. CNN
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  5. ^ a b Perspectives on war. Hickey, Neil, Columbia Journalism Review, March 1, 2002

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°26′18″N 34°55′32″E / 32.4382°N 34.9255°E / 32.4382; 34.9255