Suicide bombing claims life 7 years on

Steve Averbach,44, succumbs to injuries from 2003 J'lem attack.

By GREG TEPPER
June 8, 2010 05:59
1 minute read.
STEVE AVERBACH enjoys a beer served by his wife, J

Steve Averbach 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))

Steve Averbach, known by his friends as “Guns,” was buried in Jerusalem Monday after succumbing to wounds suffered in a May 2003 Palestinian suicide bombing.

Averbach, 44, died in his sleep on Thursday. He is credited with causing the bomber, dressed as a religious Jew, to blow himself up prematurely, saving untold lives. The bombing took place in the French Hill neighborhood aboard an articulated bus on Egged’s No. 6 line.

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Phillip Kaiser, who flew to Israel from the US with his wife, Miranda, to attend the funeral, said Averbach and a police officer identified the bomber and took action.

“Steve was found in the bus with his weapon in his hand and told those who found him to be careful, as the safety was off,” Kaiser said. “They think he was responsible for the terrorist blowing himself up early, that the terrorist’s objective was to wait for more people and then detonate in the middle of the bus.”

The bombing left Averbach paralyzed from the neck down and in need of constant care. He was in and out of hospitals over the years since the attack

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Averbach’s mother, Maida, said, “I want the people whose lives he saved to realize what he did by causing [the terrorist] to prematurely detonate. All those people waiting at the bus stop, he saved.”

Averbach moved to Israel from the US by himself while in his teens, and served in the Golani Brigade. He later worked for the Israel Police before becoming a shooting instructor at Krav, a popular target range in the capital’s Talpiot neighborhood.

His father, David, recalled one of Averbach’s students.

“‘Take aim and shoot,’ is what Steve taught his students,” David said.

“A guard Steve had taught prevented a 2002 bombing when he saw a terrorist and all he could think was, ‘Take aim and shoot.’”

A few hundred mourners accompanied Averbach to his final resting spot. Among them were members of the Israel Police, the IDF and Krav. He is survived by his four sons and wife, Julie.


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