mall bomb wreckage 298.8.
(photo credit: Zaka)
Outright heroism and the speedy response of nearby policemen and a civilian security guard prevented a "huge disaster" on Monday after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up outside Netanya's Hasharon Mall, local police chief Dep.-Cmdr. Ron Gertner told The Jerusalem Post.
Gertner was referring to the gallant performance of policewoman Shoshi Atiya who spotted the bomber and started running towards him, but more specifically to Haim Amram, the 26-year-old security guard killed while he pulled the bomber away from the entrance to the mall.
"The way the security personnel behaved proves that a speedy response can save lives," the Netanya police chief said. "The cops and the security guard saved many lives since had the bomber succeeded in entering the mall there would have been a huge disaster."
Gertner admitted his job was not easy. The Netanya mall, he said, has become a favorite spot for Palestinian terrorists as can be seen by Monday's attack and a previous attack in July when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a crosswalk outside the mall, killing five people.
"The police have done and will continue doing what they can to ensure the security of the residents of Netanya,' the police chief said. "We will increase our patrols together with the Border Police along the seam line with the West Bank and will beef up security at entertainment spots throughout the city." Gertner dismissed criticism that previous attacks on the mall should have prompted the police to create a buffer zone between the mall and the street and to have a permanent police deployment there. The police, he explained, just can't be everywhere at once.
"The attacks happen in different places," he said. "Once on the crosswalk and another time on the line into the mall. We can only count on our quick response to thwart future attacks."