Sunday, January 05, 2003

18:30: We have just heard two very big blasts.

The ambulances have started going past. The radio says the blasts were in the area of the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, a very busy and crowded area. This is quite a long way away from here. If we could hear them as loud and as clear as we could, these were very big blasts. No information yet. (18:42)

Update: The first pictures on TV show it's quite near to Bish's office. He got home just before it happened. They're talking about fatalities and a lot of wounded. No numbers yet.

This is rush hour. The emergency services have been finding it difficult to get to the site and then to get the wounded to hospital fast enough.

They're saying it was two suicide bombers in parallel roads.

Update: (20:00) Tel Aviv Chief of Police, Yossi Setbon, just said on Israel TV channel 2 that there are at least 20 dead. Over 40 wounded are in the hospitals. Some are critically wounded.

A lot of the wounded are illegal foreign workers and they're terrified of going to hospital for fear of being deported. The emergency services had to persuade them to get into the ambulances. Heartbreaking. Israel TV is giving out a phone number in English and urging the people to ring and find out about their loved ones and not to be afraid to ring even if they are illegal. Health Minister Nissim Dahan from Shas religious party just appeared on TV and emphasized that the foreign workers need not be afraid to come to look for their loved ones in the hospitals.

Update: (21:00) According to channel 1: At least 19 murdered; About 113 wounded.