Terrorist Attack against the Park Hotel in Netanya (2002)

At 19:20 on March 27, 2002, during the Passover dinner, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the dining hall of Park Hotel in Netanya. 29 people died in the explosion, and 64 were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.


The explosive belt worn by the suicide bomber was designed as a vest with pockets that hid approximately 10kg of explosives.


The terrorist attack was initiated and orchestrated by Abbas Al-Sayyid (resident of Tulkarm, born in 1966), who served as head of the Hamas military wing in Tulkarm. Al-Sayyid prepared the suicide bomber, put the explosive belt on him, and instructed him on how to detonate it. Oudeh was filmed reading out his will with an M16 rifle in his hand, wearing a "Hamas" headband.


The suicide bomber was transported to the scene of the planned attack by Fathi Khatib (resident of Qaffin / Tulkarm, born in 1960), who bought a car with an Israeli (yellow) license plate before the attack. This purchase was funded by Al- Sayyid, who also gave Khatib a fake Israeli ID card.


The explosive belt and the fake Israeli ID cards for the suicide bomber and his transporter were thus provided by Hamas military wing in Nablus. Several facilitators (Hamas activists from Tulkarm) assisted in transferring the explosive belt from Nablus to Tulkarm and hiding it until the day of the attack.



Interrogation of Facilitators
All persons involved in the terrorist attack, including Al-Sayyid, were arrested by ISA. Most of them were detained in May 2002, during operation "Defensive Shield". Their interrogations revealed the following information:


  • The suicide bomber and his transporter left Tulkarm and drove on backroads to Baqa El Gharbiya (Israeli territory), and afterwards to Netanya.

  • Netanya was chosen by Oudeh, the suicide bomber, since he knew it well. He told the transporter, Khatib, that he used to steal cars there. The two terrorists spent some time around HaSharon Mall, but could not find a crowded place for the terrorist attack because of the holiday.

  • They drove to Herzliyah and to Tel Aviv, but everywhere the situation was the same. Therefore they decided to return to Netanya, and Oudeh suggested going to the area of the hotels.

  • The transporter dropped Oudeh off at the area of the hotels and drove back to Baqa El Gharbiya, where he parked the car. Oudeh entered the Park Hotel and blew himself up in the crowded dining hall, where the guests were celebrating the Passover dinner.