Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN BREAKING NEWS

In Israel, Five Killed in Wedding Hall Suicide Bombing

Aired January 17, 2002 - 16:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now on the telephone for more on this incident in Northern Israel, a wedding hall, a wedding party, a suicide bomber -- a suicide attack there, where we're told five are dead and more are injured: Gil Kleiman.

Gil Kleiman is a spokesman for the Israeli police.

Mr. Kleiman, what can you tell us at this point?

GIL KLEIMAN, ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESMAN: Well, Judy, I can't really add much more than you have. A terrorist attack did occur. Grenades were thrown at a wedding hall. A bar mitzvah was in session at the time, not a wedding, although it's a wedding hall. We have right now five dead, a dozen wounded.

It seems, from the initial reports, that the terrorist has been either killed or captured. That hasn't been confirmed yet. The phone lines usually go down in the areas when there's a terrorist attack. And it is difficult to get in touch with our spokesman on the scene. But that is correct. Five are dead. And we do have dozens wounded after a family affair at a wedding hall.

WOODRUFF: You are saying this was a bar mitzvah event. It was late Thursday evening there.

KLEIMAN: It is about a quarter to 11:00. It occurred about an hour ago at our time. And it's about a quarter to 11:00 at night. People were leaving the wedding hour after the bar mitzvah. And a terrorist evidently threw a number of grenades. And we have, like I said, five dead and a number wounded sort of in north-central Israel close to the coast.

There have been a number of incidents there. Not too long ago, we had a shooting on that same street in which a number of terrorists in a car drove by, a drive-by shooting, we are told by policemen at the scene. That is what I suspect has happened now. We don't have a confirmation whether the policemen actually killed the terrorist or somebody else. But we do know that we have a terrorist dead and we have five dead and a number of wounded.

WOODRUFF: All right, also joining us on the telephone is Ranaan Gissin, who is a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

Mr. Gissin, do you have any more information about this?

RANAAN GISSIN, ADVISER TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Well, right now, you know, all we have is the figures, the body count, with five dead and over 30 wounded.

So, it just corroborates what we have been saying all along, that Arafat did not take any measure whatsoever in order to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. And we are now experiencing the next wave of terrorist actions after there was sort of an illusionary lull in the fighting in the terrorist activity, mainly because of action that we have taken.

But the Palestinian Authority and its coalition of terror used it really just to regroup and to prepare for the next heinous, murderous attack. And now we are experiencing it again. And there is no difference whether -- we don't know really who actually did it. But it doesn't make much of a difference, because this is a coalition of terror comprised of Palestinian Authority security people as well as members of the Tanzim, the loyal people to Mr. Arafat, and members of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

These groups together are comprising a coalition of terror which is run by Yasser Arafat, directed by him. And I must say, regrettably, despite all the declarations and despite all the attempts to convince the world that he is fighting terrorism, Arafat has done nothing. And therefore the responsibility lies squarely on his shoulders.

WOODRUFF: Ranaan Gissin is a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Sharon.

Again, Mr. Gissin, you hold Yasser Arafat responsible even though you don't have any more information at this point about who was behind this.

GISSIN: Well, again, there is no need. There is no need to say -- every time you look for a specific person, and all the strings, everything leads to Mr. Arafat, who has not taken the strategic decision necessary to stop the terrorist activity.

He has not ordered his own troops to stop shooting. On the contrary, he allows them to go out on a rampage of shooting and killing of innocent civilians. And we are talking about Tanzim and his Force 17, which accounts for over 40 percent of all the casualties that we suffered. So that's why the responsibility is his. He is the leader of the Palestinian Authority. He is the leader of the Palestinian people. Therefore, he cannot exonerate himself from this responsibility.

WOODRUFF: All right, again, Ranaan Gissin, spokesman for Prime Minister Sharon -- and also joining us on the telephone, a spokesman for the Israeli police. I want to thank you, both of you gentlemen, for joining us. We appreciate it -- both of them talking about this incident in Northern Israel, a suicide attack leaving five dead and at least a dozen or more wounded.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top