On a normal day, Shimshon Moshe – owner of the food stand Pitzutz Shel Kiosk,
across from the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha’uma) –
talks to thousands of people. He acts as an informal information booth,
directing tourists and native-born Israelis to the correct buses, and as an
unofficial policeman, keeping his eye out for anything out of the
Between selling cans of Coke and bags of Bisli, Moshe has spent
much of the last two days pointing out the holes in his kiosk that were created
when a duffel bag exploded just two feet away last Wednesday, killing one woman,
UK national Mary Jean Gardner, and wounding 39.
‘I knew I was witnessing an explosion about to happen’
‘The smell is still in my nose from other terror attacks'
Almost everyone who
passes by stops to ask about the bombing, or about Moshe’s brother-in-law, David
Amoyal, who was working in the kiosk at the time of the explosion and was
wounded in the attack.
This isn’t the first time that Moshe’s kiosk has
been a terrorist target. It was totally destroyed in a bombing on December 25,
Following the bombing, Moshe, who has owned the kiosk for more than
20 years, ironically renamed it Pitzutz Shel Kiosk (“A blast of a
After last week’s bombing, he is considering renaming the kiosk
again, Moshe told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“I might name it, ‘Third
Time, Ice Cream,’” [pa’am shlishit, glida] he said, laughing, referring to the
popular Israeli expression used when something happens by chance twice in a
When people passing by hear this suggestion, they laugh as well.
It’s the best way to react to this situation, explained Moshe.
still hospitalized at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, while
doctors are debating whether to transfer him to a rehabilitation center, said
Moshe. Both of his hips were broken, and he will need additional surgery to
remove the steel balls that are embedded in his stomach. It will be months
before he can walk again.
“If he had stayed in the kiosk and closed the
door, he would have been fine,” said Moshe. The shrapnel from the explosion
pierced the right side of the kiosk, but the impact would have been much
While he was calling police, Amoyal left the kiosk and started
yelling at people to move away from the bag. Three teenage yeshiva students who
were sitting on the stone wall behind the bag got up and started moving away
after hearing Amoyal’s warning.
They had backed up about 10 meters when
the package exploded. All three were wounded, but without Amoyal’s quick action
it could have been much worse, said Moshe.
One of the boys’ fathers had
come to the kiosk earlier in the day to thank the family.
The kiosk is
has been receiving an outpouring of sympathy from the public.
children who attend a special school in the area have come with handmade cards,
candy, and cookies for Amoyal.
“People come, they don’t even want to buy
anything, but they come and say, ‘We came to support you,’” said Moshe. “Many
people insist on paying five or 10 extra shekels for a small package of
The kiosk’s regular customers have been to visit Amoyal in the
Though the area is being heavily patrolled by police, Moshe has
already had a few scares when people forget their bags, and twice he has called
the police to report suspicious items, both of which turned out to be false
alarms. Even during quiet periods, Moshe reports suspicious items to the police
at least a few times a month.
“This is my only livelihood, and I’ve been
here for more than 20 years,” said Moshe.
“It’s our mission, we feel like
we’re sometimes part of the police, protecting people… We do it because it’s our
nation, the nation of Israel,” he said.