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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Israelis torn over Gaza attack
Palestinian woman looks at rubble of building destroyed in Tuesday's air strike
Many Israelis feel the army handled the strike badly

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon described Monday's air strike on Gaza City as a "great success".


I'm completely sure that the Israeli army could have done it in a better way

Israeli student Nadav
But the world condemned Israel's actions, leading to debate within the country.

Many Israeli politicians decided the attack was, in the end, a mistake.

Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres called the death of so many civilians a "great tragedy".

Strong views

To find out a bit about what ordinary Israelis made of the attack, I went to the Moment cafe in Jerusalem.

It is an important place in this conflict, as it was hit by a suicide bomber in early March.

Aftermath of March's bomb in the Moment cafe
Eleven people died in a suicide attack in the Moment cafe in March

The cafe has now been rebuilt and reopened.

Security guards at the front door check everyone for weapons or explosives.

Those inside sitting at the bar all have strong views on the air strike, one way or the other.

"I think it was a terrible strike," says Saar, a political party worker.

"The prime minister said it was a success but it's a big failure... it's very unfortunate that 14 people lost their lives and I think it wasn't worth it."

Unpleasant situation

Nadav, a communications student, has similar thoughts.


I don't know exactly what happened... but I really don't care

Goldie
"Even if they decide this was strategically the best way to fight terror... I'm completely sure that the Israeli army could have done it in a better way.

"I must admit I'm a bit surprised that they didn't find a better way of doing it."

But there are others who voice no regrets such as Goldie, an administrative assistant.

"Obviously I hate the situation," she says.

"But we're sitting right here in Moment, what more do you need... This was a military operation that went awry, something happened, I don't know exactly what happened... but I really don't care.

"I have to get off buses sometimes three times a day and I have to look over my back and suspect every single person of being a suicide bomber.

"I don't really care about them, I really don't, not at this point."


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26 Jul 02 | Middle East
25 Jul 02 | Middle East
25 Jul 02 | Business
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