Beyond Images Challenging myths and presenting facts about Israel 
BEFORE SEPTEMBER 2000: When the Palestinian suicide bombings began
London - published on 5 May 2003
Beyond Images Ref: 51

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“The Palestinian suicide bombings began as a result of Israel’s hard-line policies under Mr Sharon”

RESPONSE: Palestinian suicide bombings started in Israel in 1994, and had been going on for 7 years before Mr Sharon came to power in February 2001:-

April 1994 - bus bomb in Afula (7 dead)

May 1994 - bus bomb in Hadera (6 dead)

October 1994 - bus bomb in central Tel-Aviv (22 dead)

January 1995 - bus bomb in Beit Lid near Netanya (21 dead)

July 1995 - bus bomb in Northern Jerusalem (6 dead)

February 1996 - bombs on successive Sundays in Jerusalem (total 49 dead)

February 1996 - shopping centre suicide bomb in Tel-Aviv (13 dead)

February 1996 - bus bomb in Ashkelon (3 dead)

August 1997 - triple suicide bombing in central pedestrian shopping area of Jerusalem (23 dead)

August 1998 - double suicide bombing in Jerusalem marketplace (16 dead)

March 1999 - café bomb in central Tel-Aviv (3 dead)

Conclusion: Mr Sharon is not the cause of the suicide bombings. Quite the opposite. The groups which carry them out created a popular swing to the right in Israel which contributed to Mr Sharon’s rise to power. Far from challenging the occupation, the suicide bombers, and those who plan, support and justify them, have forced Israel under Mr Sharon to reinstate the occupation (see Beyond Images Briefing 15 – Israel’s reluctant Reoccupation).