Haifa Man and Daughter Survivecar Bombing; Police Issue Gag Order

Victim feared revenge over neighborhood dispute months earlier, witnesses say.

A resident of Haifa and his 3-year-old daughter were wounded yesterday after a bomb exploded in their car, police said.

The 46-year-old man had complained to police several months ago about being assaulted. He suffered moderate injuries from the bomb, while his daughter was only lightly injured. Police have issued a gag order barring release of details from the investigation, including the victims' names.

Haifa car bomb - Dror Artzi - Nov. 21, 2010
Dror Artzi

The explosion occurred shortly after 8 A.M., when the man, a resident of Kababir, a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood, entered his car with his daughter in order to take her to day care. The bomb detonated instantly.

"When I heard the blast I came out to see what happened, and I saw the father, wounded, outside the car, holding the girl in his hands," eyewitness Mohammed Uda told Haaretz. "I ran over to help him, and he asked us to call his wife and tell her what had happened. The little girl was crying in his arms, and he was wounded and in shock." The two were taken to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

Police said yesterday that although the victim does not have a criminal record, the attack was apparently prompted by a personal dispute. About three months ago, the victim complained to police that he was ambushed and attacked near his home, but the suspects fled the scene, and he could not identify them. No arrests were made.

Neighbors told Haaretz the man appeared to be taking precautions recently, driving a rented car and parking it away from his house.

"I have no idea who may have done this or why," the victim's wife told Haaretz. "I'm not afraid for myself, but this is obviously a situation that makes you feel much less secure. I'm getting a lot of support from the family, and I'm sure we'll pull through this."