Incident Summary:

08/19/2003: A suicide bomber blew up a bus in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in central Jerusalem, Israel. The bomb killed 18 people and wounded 100 others. The militant Palestinian groups HAMAS and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility for the bombing.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Transportation
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Israeli civilians on a bus in Jerusalem
Nationality of Target Israel
Additional Information
Hostages No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Suicide (carried bodily by human being)
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Palestinian police banned all representatives of the radical HAMAS and Islamic Jihad groups from giving media interviews the next day after they claimed responsibility for this suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Although HAMAS members distributed fliers in Hebron saying the Jerusalem bombing was carried out by one of its supporters, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the group's leader in Gaza, insisted that his organization was not involved in the attack.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Other)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Other)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 19 Fatalities / 100 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 19
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 100
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Lara Sukhtian, “Suicide bomber blows himself up on Jerusalem bus, at least 20 dead,” Associated Press, August 19, 2003.
Peter Mackler, “18 passengers dead, 120 wounded in massive Jerusalem bus blast,” Agence France Presse, August 20, 2003.
“Bus bombing in Jerusalem kills at least 20 people; Islamic Jihad claims attack,” Al-Bawaba, August 19, 2003.