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The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing was a suicide bombing which occurred on October 4, 2003 in the beachfront "Maxim" restaurant in Haifa, Israel. Twenty-one people were killed in the attack and 51 were injured. Among the victims were two families and four children, including a two-month-old baby.

Maxim restaurant suicide bombing
Part of the Second Intifada militancy campaign
PikiWiki Israel 438 maxim restaurant haifa מסעדת מקסים בחיפה.JPG
The Maxim restaurant in 2009
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Red pog.svg
The attack site
LocationHaifa, Israel
Coordinates32°48′46″N 34°57′20″E / 32.81278°N 34.95556°E / 32.81278; 34.95556
DateOctober 4, 2003
Attack type
suicide bombing
Deaths21 civilians (and 1 bomber)
Perpetrators1 Palestinian (Hanadi Jaradat). Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

The restaurant, which is located at the seafront near the southern boundary of the city of Haifa, was frequently attended by both Arab and Jewish local populations, and was widely seen as a symbol of peaceful coexistence in Haifa.

Militant organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. It was condemned by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. The restaurant's interior was destroyed by the blast (it was completely rebuilt seven months after the attack).


The Maxim restaurant is a beachfront restaurant located near the south entry to Haifa. It is co-owned by Jews and Christian Arabs, and is known for being a symbol of co-existence.[1][2]

The attack

Oran Almog, who was ten years old at time of the bombing, was blinded by the blast, lost two of his grandparents, his father, his brother and his cousin.[3]

On October 4, 2003, the 28-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat detonated the explosive belt she was wearing inside the Arab-Jewish Maxim restaurant in Haifa. 21 Israelis (18 Jews and 3 Arabs) were killed, and 51 others were wounded.[4] The bomb included metal fragments packed around the explosive core, that sprayed around the restaurant, maximizing lethal effect.[5] According to Haifa police sources, the aftermath was gruesome, with some of the dead still sitting upright at their tables, while others, including children and babies, were slammed against the walls. Due to the force of the explosion, all that remained of Jaradat was her head.[5]

Among the victims were two families and four children, including a two-month-old baby. Three Maccabi Haifa officials were lightly injured in the bombing.[6]


Five members of the Almog family:

  • Ze'ev Almog, 71, of Haifa, Israeli naval officer[7]
  • Ruth Almog, 70, of Haifa
  • Moshe Almog, 43, of Haifa
  • Tomer Almog, 9, of Haifa
  • Assaf Staier, 11, of Haifa

Five members of the Zer-Aviv family:

  • Bruria Zer-Aviv, 59, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Bezalel Zer-Aviv, 30, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Keren Zer-Aviv, 29, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Liran Zer-Aviv, 4, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Noya Zer-Aviv, 1, of Kibbutz Yagur


  • Nir Regev, 25, of Nahariya
  • Zvi Bahat, 35, of Haifa
  • Mark Biano, 29, of Haifa
  • Naomi Biano, 25, of Haifa
  • Hana Francis, 39, of Fassuta, head waiter
  • Sharbal Matar, 23, of Fassuta, waiter
  • Mutanus Karkabi, 31, of Haifa, security guard
  • Osama Najar, 28, of Haifa, cook
  • Irena Sofrin, 38, of Kiryat Bialik
  • Lydia Zilberstein, 56, of Haifa, died of her injuries on October 9
  • George Matar, 58, of Haifa, died of his injuries on October 15

Source: "Suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa, October 4, 2003". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21 January 2004. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011.

The perpetrator

The suicide bomber, 28-year-old Hanadi Jaradat from Jenin, (Arabic: هنادي تيسير عبد المالك جردات‎) was the sixth female suicide bomber of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the second woman recruited by Islamic Jihad.[8]

When she was 21, her fiancé had been killed by Israeli security forces.[9] At the time of her suicide bombing, Jaradat was a law student due to qualify as a lawyer in a few weeks. According to a story in Ha'aretz, based on Arab media and interviews with Israeli and Arab sources, she agreed to the bombing after Israel Defense Forces undercover operatives in Jenin killed her cousin (Salah, 34), and her younger brother (Fadi, 25), both of whom were accused by Israeli forces of being Islamic Jihad operatives, with her cousin being considered to be a senior member of the Al-Quds Brigades group.[8]

Israeli response

The day following the suicide bombing, the Israeli Army demolished the home of Jaradat's family, and the homes of two neighbors who were uninvolved in the bombing.[10] In response to the attack, which Israel claimed was planned in the Damascus headquarters of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an alleged terrorist training camp in Ain es-Saheb, Syria, was bombed by four Israeli Air Force jets. One person was injured, and munitions were allegedly destroyed during the strike.[11]

Jamal Mahadjne, an Israeli-Arab from Umm al-Fahm, was arrested within hours of the attack for driving Jaradat to her destination. Mahadjne had regularly taken fees for illegally driving Palestinians to Israel, taking advantage of his Israeli identity card to cross the border without difficulty. He confessed his actions to Shin Bet agents, and was indicted before the Haifa District Court for being an accessory to murder and for other crimes relating to his illegal activities on November 10.[12]

On November 7, Israel Defense Forces troops arrested senior Islamic Jihad militant Amjad Abeidi, who planned the attack, along with a number of other suicide bombings, during an operation in Jenin. During the operation, Jenin was placed under curfew as soldiers searched homes. One Palestinian teenager was shot dead while climbing a tank, and three Palestinians were wounded. The complex in which Abeidi was hiding was located and searched, and a weapons cache was found. After a grenade was thrown into the cache, Abeidi was lightly wounded and surrendered. As the soldiers left Jenin with Abeidi, Palestinian militants opened fire at them, and the soldiers returned fire. One militant, a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, was killed. Abeidi was handed over to Shin Bet for interrogation.[13]

In 2017 Oran Almog, one of the victims of the attack, addressed the United Nations Security Council to demand that the Palestinian Authority cease incentivizing terrorism by paying stipends to terrorists.[14]

Official reactions

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon stated that Israel held Palestinian President Yasser Arafat responsible for the attack.[15] Arafat condemned the bombing.[16] U.S. President George W. Bush condemned the attack, calling it a "murderous action"and a "despicable attack".[17]


The memorial built near the restaurant, in memory of the victims of the attack

In response to his daughter's actions, her father Taisir declined all condolences, instead saying that he was proud of what his daughter had done, and that "I will accept only congratulations for what she did. This was a gift she gave me, the homeland and the Palestinian people."[18]

In October 2012, the Arab Lawyers Union awarded their top award to Hanadi Jaradat, and sent a delegation to her family to present them with the award. Ayman Abu Eisheh, who is a member of the Palestine Committee at the Arab Lawyers Union, explained that the lawyers were proud of Jaradat, saying that suicide bombing was "in defense of Palestine and the Arab nation."[19]

Although the interior of the restaurant was destroyed in the attack, it was quickly rebuilt and reopened within several months.[20] A monument was erected near the restaurant in memory of the victims killed in the attack.[21]

See also


  1. ^ Gilbert, Martin (2012). The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Routledge. p. 216. ISBN 9780415699754.
  2. ^ Arab-Jewish Restaurant Refuses to Stop Serving Its Coexistence Recipe. Haaretz, 17 October 2015
  3. ^ Meotti, Giulio (2010). A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism. New York: Encounter Books. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-59403-477-0.
  4. ^ Suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa – October 4, 2003 Archived June 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Cult of the FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBER. The Sunday Times Magazine (Perth, W. Australia). By KEVIN TOOLIS, pp 12–15, September 10, 2006
  6. ^ Eyewitness: 'Dead children and babies. BBC, 4 October 2003
  7. ^ "HM Submarine Turpin". Submarines: Chatham Built. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  8. ^ a b Arnon Regular,Profile of the Haifa suicide bomber. October 5, 2003;
  9. ^ David Blair, "Revenge sparked suicide bombing". The Daily Telegraph via The Ottawa Citizen, October 6, 2003: A9.
  10. ^ David Blair, "Revenge sparked suicide bombing". The Daily Telegraph via The Ottawa Citizen, October 6, 2003: A9.
  11. ^ Crean, Ellen (October 5, 2003). "Israel Strikes Base Inside Syria". CBS/AP. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  12. ^ "Israeli Arab Citizen Indicted for Part in Maxim Restaurant Attack - Latest News Briefs - Arutz Sheva". Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "Witnesses: Palestinian Killed in Jenin". Haaretz. November 6, 2003.
  14. ^ "After Halamish attack, Israel demands UN address PA terror payments". Times of Israel. January 25, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2] Archived February 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Green, Michele (October 5, 2003). "Female Bomber Kills 19 In Israeli Suicide Strike". Daily News.
  18. ^ Vered Levy-Barzalai, Ticking bomb. October 16, 2003;
  19. ^ Abu Toameh, Khaled (October 13, 2012). "Arab Lawyers Union honors Palestinian suicide bomber". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  20. ^ "Haifa's Maxim restaurant reopens". Free Public/Jerusalem Post. December 8, 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "Relatives of victims of Maxim Haifa attack hold memorial". Ynet News. October 4, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2018.

External links