Several victims still cling to life after Monday’s attack

Friday, April 21, 2006 | 
The bombing was five days ago – old news by media standards. But for several people the story is not over and prayers for their lives are still needed.

Several of the wounded cling to life in their hospital rooms, others are learning to live with the loss of limbs, and the family members of both the dead and wounded are coping with the tragic consequences.

A 16-year-old American boy, visiting Israel for Passover, remains in intensive care, his internal organs ripped to shreds. The teen-ager and his father were both caught in the blast. The father sustained a broken leg.

This attack at a shwarma and falafel restaurant in Tel Aviv shattered the thin illusion of calm that has marked Israel in the past 20 months. The calm is attributed to security forces who have nabbed 90 would-be bombers since January, not a Palestinian effort to end such attacks. Nevertheless, Israelis had begun to feel free to venture out to restaurants and to ride buses.
But on Monday this bomber slipped through the security net and arrived in Tel Aviv with his lethal intentions. He entered the restaurant, stuffing his mouth with food to mask his Arabic accent and dressed like an Israeli. When the security guard asked him to open his bag, the bomb exploded.

The victims include David Shaulov, 29; Philip Balasan, 45, a father of two who were wounded as well; Benjamin Haputa, 47, the restaurant's security guard; Victor Erez, a 60-year-old taxi driver; Lily Yunis, 42; Ariel Darhi, 31; two Romanian victims, Rosalia Basanya, 48, and Boda Proshka, 50; and French tourist Rachel Cohen, 75.

Menahem Yunis told mourners that when he finally found his wife Lily following the explosion, he held her in his arms. "Her eyes rolled, I knew she was gone," he said.

Lily and her son Zach, 10, were on their way to buy lunch at the restaurant when the bomb went off. Zach is still hospitalized.

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