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Erased In A Moment:

Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians

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Human Rights Watch
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Copyright © October 2002 by Human Rights Watch.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN: 1-56432-280-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002114404

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Suicide Bombing Attacks on Civilians
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Report in Arabic

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Israel, the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority Territories

Table of Contents


About This Report

I. Summary 

II. Recommendations 

III. SUICIDE BOMBING ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS  IV. LEGAL STANDARDS  V. Structures and strategies of the perpetrator organizations  VI. Financial and logistical support  VII. The Role of the Palestinian Authority  APPENDIX ONE: CHRONOLOGY OF ATTACKS 



This report was researched and written by Joe Stork, Washington director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. Miranda Sissons, researcher for the Middle East and North Africa division and Johanna Bjorken, a consultant, assisted in research and writing. Jessica Bonn, a consultant, conducted additional interviews. Hanny Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division, edited the report. Wilder Tayler, the legal and policy director, provided legal review. Research assistance was provided by Dalia Haj Omar and James Darrow, associates with the Middle East and North Africa division; Tahirih Sariban and Juan Valdivieso, interns; and Na'ameh Razon, a 2002 Everett Fellow. Dalia Haj Omar and Mohamed Abdel Dayem, an associate with the Middle East and North Africa division, assisted with Arabic translation. The report was prepared for publication by Jonathan Horowitz, program coordinator; Leila Hull, associate with the Middle East and North Africa division; Patrick Minges of the communications division, and Jessica Thorpe, a consultant.

Human Rights Watch also thanks the many individuals who agreed to speak with us in the course of this research, as well as others who provided assistance in interpreting, locating information referred to in the report, but who wished not to be acknowledged by name. Human Rights Watch acknowledges the support of NOVIB, the Dutch Organization for International Development Cooperation, Member of Eurostep and Oxfam International, for its research in Israel, the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Authority Territories.


This report is based on field research, expert and witness interviews, and examination of public documents. Field research was carried out during two Human Rights Watch investigative missions to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip in May-June 2002. During these visits, Human Rights Watch interviewed members of armed groups, victims, families of perpetrators, PA officials, current and former PA security officers, Israeli and Palestinian analysts and security experts, diplomats and other foreign officials, and Palestinian activists and militants.

Documents consulted included those that Israel says were seized by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from Palestinian Authority offices in April-May 2002 and at other times, and made public on the websites of the IDF and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with extensive commentary by official Israeli analysts. In addition, Human Rights Watch asked Israeli government officials to provide any additional evidence or documentation to support the government's charges concerning Palestinian Authority complicity in suicide bombings against civilians. The information provided by the government in response to this request largely reproduced information already available. 

Human Rights Watch has assumed the authenticity of these documents, although we note that PA officials have dismissed the released documents in general terms as fabrications. Where Human Rights Watch has used these documents, it has done so based upon its own analysis and translation. Human Rights Watch notes that the documents have been released selectively, over time, and in various configurations, hampering any rigorous assessment of the significance and sequence of incidents described in them. Human Rights Watch also notes that the IDF official analysis and commentary concerning the documents made available frequently appears to be based on additional materials that, though mentioned in the IDF analysis and commentary, were themselves not publicly accessible at the time of writing. 

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