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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Israeli gamblers 'bet on suicide attacks'
Aftermath of suicide attack on bus at Megiddo Junction in northern Israel
A series of attacks has left Israelis traumatised
A new and questionable diversion is being offered to Israeli gamblers as a result of the spate of Palestinian suicide bombings - betting on where the next one will be, Israeli newspapers have reported.


We are checking it out to see if there is a violation of gambling laws. We're not getting into the moral aspect

Police spokesman

Police have confirmed they are investigating reports of a betting ring based in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi.

Although prohibited under Israeli law, gambling thrives in illegal hideouts and aboard cruise ships picking up passengers from Israeli ports. There are even plans for an airborne casino.

Bookies taking wagers on Palestinian attacks give the best odds to places largely untouched by the violence, newspapers report.

The longest are for an attack on the Red Sea resort of Eilat at 17-1, while Jerusalem - a frequent target - has the shortest odds at 3-2.

'Bad taste'

The minimum stake is $2 and for the purposes of the bet, only Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets count - not the other way round.

"We are checking into it to see if there is a violation of the gambling laws," police spokesman Gil Kleiman was quoted as saying.

"We're not getting into the moral aspect."

But it goes too far for the newspaper Maariv.

"There is no limit to bad taste", it concludes.

Israelis have been traumatised by the series of suicide attacks on public places including buses, restaurants and shopping malls which have killed more than 200 people since the Palestinian uprising, or intifada, began in September 2000.


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28 May 02 | Middle East
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