|Non-fatal injuries 178|
Total number of deaths 16
Location Mahane Yehuda Market
|Start date July 30, 1997|
Attack type Suicide attack
|Perpetrators Hamas claimed responsibility|
Similar Dizengoff Street bus bombing, 1994 London Israeli Em, Jaffa Road bus bombings, Ben Yehuda Street bo, 1983 United States em
The 1997 Mahane Yehuda Market bombings were two consecutive suicide bombings carried out by Hamas militants on 30 July 1997 at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, Israel, the city's main open-air fruit and vegetable market. Sixteen people were killed in the attack and 178 were injured.
On Wednesday, 30 July 1997 at 1:15 pm, two Palestinian suicide bombers who carried bags laden with explosives and nails detonated their explosive devices 45 meters (150 feet) apart almost simultaneously in a central alley in the popular outdoor market, killing 16 civilians, among them an Arab resident of Eilabun, and injuring 178 people, many of them teenagers and tourists.
Thirteen Israelis were killed immediately and three others died later from their injuries. The Mahane Yehuda attack was followed by a triple suicide bombing on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem on 4 September, which killed five Israelis and wounded over 190.
The following people died in the attack:
Praise for the attack
In August 1997, Fahad Rimawi, editor of the Jordanian weekly Almajd, wrote: "We praise and glorify the double heroic act which two Palestinian 'mujahadins' performed in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. These two holy martyrs illuminated the night in Jerusalem...and gave meaning to Arab heroism. We do not hide our happiness upon this act."
In retaliation for these and other attacks, a decision was reached to target Hamas leaders. According to an Israeli press release, Mossad agents tried to poison chairman Khaled Mashal, who resided at the time in Jordan. The assassination attempt failed and the Mossad agents were captured by the Jordanian authorities. They were later released in exchange for the release of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and "spiritual leader" of Hamas who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison.