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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 01:54 GMT 02:54 UK
Eyewitness: Weariness and anger
By Richard Miron
BBC correspondent in Jerusalem

Cafe Hillel after the bombing
The cafe had only been open for a matter of months
Cafe Hillel, which only opened a matter of months ago, has been destroyed by the force of Tuesday evening's blast.

The bomber tried to enter the cafe, but was prevented by a security guard and the bomb went off in the doorway.

When I arrived shortly after the blast, I saw the glass frontage blown out and black awnings hanging down, shredded by the explosion.

This isn't a reaction to anything - they just want to kill us
Marc Luria
Local resident
The road in front of the cafe was littered with blood-soaked rags, metal and glass.

The masonry had been ripped off one of the main supporting pillars inside the cafe itself.

The Israelis have well-practised procedures for these kinds of occasions, and the wounded have been taken away very, very quickly.

With floodlights overhead, police were forensically examining the cafe, which is in the heart of the German Colony neighbourhood.

Ultra-orthodox Jews, whose job it is to pick up the body parts and the bodies for burial, have also been going about their task.

Thriving area

Restaurants, cafes and bars line this normally busy street.

Israelis outside the Cafe Hillel
Many Israelis believe they are in a life or death struggle
The German Colony neighbourhood is home to a more liberal, secular community, including, incidentally, many journalists.

This area had thrived in recent years, as many businesses in the centre of the city moved out because of their vulnerability to attack.

But the German Colony had not suffered that much in the bombings of the past few years.

But fewer people had gone out on Tuesday evening, following Hamas threats to carry out an attack just like this.

This place was on high alert in preparation, or readiness, security was very tight, it was getting late in the day.

Having had the earlier attack near Tel Aviv, some people might have assumed that they had got through the day safely, but that was not to be.

Life or death

There is considerable anger and weariness among people here.

"Hamas is just looking to get us any way they can," local resident Marc Luria told me. "This isn't a reaction to anything - they just want to kill us."

Many Israelis see themselves involved in a life or death struggle with Palestinian militants, and attacks like the one here in Jerusalem have become a fact of life in this bloody conflict.

"If there had been a security fence cutting off the West Bank, this wouldn't have happened," said Mr Luria.

But in the aftermath of the bombing, one commentator said that there was no such thing as hermetic security.




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