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Terror takes enormous toll in Israel

Pnina Eisenman was injured in the suicide bombing attack that killed her mother and her daughter.
Pnina Eisenman was injured in the suicide bombing attack that killed her mother and her daughter.  


(CNN) -- If you go to a baseball or soccer game tonight and look around, and say, half the stadium is filled, you'll see about 25,000 other fans. If you were living in Israel, it is likely that one of you would be killed in a terrorist attack in the next six months.

Since January 2002, at least 225 Israeli citizens have been killed in terrorist attacks, suicide bombings or shooting rampages targeting innocent civilians at home, on buses, on city streets, at weddings, in discos or pizzerias. The fear and pain of terrorism have become a part of daily life for Israelis in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Netanya and in neighborhoods in the West Bank and Gaza.

One of every 26,392 Israelis has been killed in a terrorist attack in the past six months. The same ratio applied to the population of the United States would equate to 10,888 American citizens. That's more than three times the number of people killed in the September 11 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and aboard United Airlines Flight 93.

For a country the size of the United Kingdom, that ratio would mean 2,260 people killed. For Germany, it would mean 3,146 victims.

In Israel, people still move about their daily lives. But the impact of the attacks that have seemed constant for the past two years is taking its toll.

Gal Eisenman, 5, and her grandmother Noa Alon
Gal Eisenman, 5, and her grandmother Noa Alon  

Whether it affects mothers whose children are at school, or friends concerned about going out for coffee or to a wedding, it has changed people's lives.

In this, the first part of the series "Victims of Terror," CNN tells the story of one family whose lives were recently shattered by terror.

For the Eisenman family, the evening of June 19 started with a children's concert. After the show, the family was waiting at a crowded bus stop in northern Jerusalem when a suicide bomber jumped out of a car and detonated a powerful explosive.

The bomb killed seven people, including 5-year-old Gal Eisenman and her grandmother Noa Alon, a retired kindergarten teacher.

The little girl's mother, Pnina Eisenman, and her 18-month-old brother, Saguy, were badly wounded in the blast. Her father, a doctor, had to identify the body.

ON CNN TV
Watch Wolf Blitzer  on CNN this week for Victims of Terror, a series of special reports from inside Israel. CNN is committed to sharing the stories of the victims of terror.
 
CNN NewsPass VIDEO
Pnina Eisenman, who was wounded and whose daughter and mother were killed in a suicide bombing last week, talks with CNN's John Vause (June 24)

Play video
 

Eisenman said she does not remember the explosion -- only waking up in a hospital and asking where her children and her mother were. She said she did not learn what she calls the "cruel truth" until her husband, Isaac Eisenman, broke the news several hours later.

Eisenman is still recovering from her wounds -- her left arm was burned, the other hit by flying pieces of shrapnel, her face was scarred, her ear drums burst and she suffers constant headaches. But she said she was glad that she was able to shield Saguy from the brunt of the explosion.

Once she has healed, she said she would think about having more children.

Eisenman said her daughter was a perfect, beautiful girl with blonde curly hair and green eyes. She said her mother knew everything about her, and they spoke every day.

The Eisenman family tried to take precautions -- avoiding crowded places and cafes and keeping an eye out for anyone suspicious.

When the intifada began almost two years ago, Isaac Eisenman even suggested leaving Israel -- but his wife insisted on staying.

Pnina Eisenman said she is now a broken person because of the attack and said she believes there is no God, because God would not have taken her most precious things.

She said she has to keep telling herself that she will never see her mother or daughter again.



 
 
 
 







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