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A Frog's-eye view

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

I was back in Haifa again today, and once again travelled by minbus down the Moriah Boulevard where the 37 bus as blown up on Wednesday. The difference was that this time, the minibus was full of school-children, even though for children it costs twice as much as the regular buses (for adults the price is virtually identical). I suppose their parents are no longer allowing them to travel by bus, and this is easier than arranging personal transport for every child.

As we approached 48 Moriah Boulevard, I realised exactly where the explosion took place. When I need to stay overnight in Haifa for work, I rent a room in an old lady's house not far from this stop (the Shimshon Junction, for those who know the area). As Imshin has written, it's hard to imagine wholesale slaughter taking place in this peaceful suburban neighbourhood. The bus stop itself was all but gone, and the wall behind it had become a tragic mural of paintings, death notices, photographs and banners (personal, not political), while along the pavement lay the remains of dozens of burnt out memorial candles.

As at all these dreadful sites, eventually the burnt out cannisters will be cleared away, the murals removed, and in their place will appear a small metal plaque with the names of those killed elegantly engraved upon it. Already by this morning, several days after the murderous attack, only a few solitary candles remained alight. But for those injured, and for the friends and families of those killed, the story is only beginning.

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