A Statement from Federation on the March 23 Bombing in Jerusalem
This is a sad time for the people of Israel and for all peace-loving people worldwide.
At around 3 p.m. Israel time (9 a.m. Eastern) on Wednesday, March 23, a bomb exploded next to two buses across the street from the Jerusalem Convention Center. The blast injured dozens of people, several seriously. One person has died from her injuries. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Citizens across Israel are shocked and deeply concerned. Israeli security forces remain on high alert. Although this is the first bombing in Jerusalem since 2004, the attack coincides with a dramatic and alarming increase in mortar and rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod with one rocket striking as far as the outskirts of Beersheba.
Of particular concern is that this follows the recent barbaric murders of the Fogel family in Itamar, where a three-month-old baby, her four- and 10-year-old brothers and both parents were brutally slaughtered in their home by Palestinian militants.
The Jewish Federations of North America, our national organization, together with its partners in Israel – is closely monitoring the situation, both in terms of broader developments and humanitarian needs on the ground. As always, Israelis are responding to the attack resolutely. Jerusalem's social workers, currently on strike, announced they will return to work in order to help the wounded and frightened people of Jerusalem at this difficult time. The Federation-supported Jewish Agency for Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror has been placed on alert to help the wounded and their families.
We join all people of goodwill in praying for a full recovery for all those who were injured in today’s attack and offer our condolences to the family of the woman who lost her life.
In the most absolute terms, we call for an end to the environment of incitement that encourages such terrorist attacks.
We vehemently condemn this new round of violence, which is another stark reminder of the importance and the difficulty of continuing to move on the path to a just and lasting peace, providing safety and security to all people in the Middle East.
Barbara Black Goldfarb, Chair of the Board
Jacob Solomon, President and CEO