Suicide bombers in Israel

J. Hiss, T. Kahana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1993 and 1995, 14 suicidal terrorist bombings took place in Israel; 86 victims perished in these attacks, which were carried out by militant Palestinian organizations that oppose peace treaties between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people. The modus operandi of the perpetrators was detonating, in a public area, an explosive device carried on or in close proximity to the terrorist's body. We reviewed the postmortem examinations and identification procedures performed by the medical and law enforcement personnel involved in mass disaster management. The types of injuries sustained by the victims and perpetrators include body disruption, explosive injuries, flying missile injuries, and blast injuries. Blunt trauma directly produced by the explosion and flying missile injuries account for 80.1% of the wounds. The number of fatalities was more closely related to the type of the attack rather than to the amount and type of explosives used. Swift identification of all victims and perpetrators was obtained through collaboration between the different professional teams involved: forensic scientists, law enforcement agencies, and secret service investigators. Based on the analysis of the data obtained from the necroscopic examinations, we observed that most of the wounds sustained fall within the realm of blunt force injuries; emergency medical facilities that might be faced with similar situations should prepare accordingly. Collaboration between the various forensic and law enforcement teams results in swift resolution of disaster management. Prompt identification of the perpetrators allows the authorities to apprehend any accomplices and to prevent similar attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Explosion
  • Human bombs
  • Suicide
  • Terrorism


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