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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 21:39 GMT
Bomb victim's family praise video
Injured man on stretcher
Dozens were injured in the blast which killed at least 11
Israel was right to release a graphic video showing the results of a suicide bombing, a victim's brother has said.

The ministry of foreign affairs posted the gruesome video on its website following a suicide bombing on Thursday that killed at least 11 people.

"The world has to see what we are going through," Yehuda Boneh told the BBC's Newshour programme.

Israel has never made such video available before and it is not being broadcast on television there.

The video shows extremely graphic images of the kind Western broadcasters and newspapers would refuse to reproduce.

This is about our lives being blown to pieces
Barbara Sofer
Women's Zionist Organisation

They include bloody body parts in the wreckage of the bus and on the street, including a hand connected to a mass of bone and mangled flesh.

The five-minute, forty-second video has been edited so that victims cannot be identified.

The Israeli daily Maariv said the video got more than 280,000 hits in its first 48 hours on the ministry website.

Necessary

Hospital officials and emergency workers said it was necessary to make the video available.

"I think we clean the scenes up too fast," Barbara Sofer of the Women's Zionist Organisation of America - which runs Jerusalem's two main trauma hospitals - told the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Injured person being lifted into ambulance
Trauma experts defended use of the video
She said people outside Israel thought suicide bombings merely meant "that we can't have a coffee in peace at a trendy cafe."

"That's not what this is about. It's about our lives being blown to pieces. The world is not privy to this," she said.

Mr Boneh, whose sister Rose was killed in the bombing, agreed.

"It's the truth. It's what happens. Israel should show the truth," he told Newshour.

Police used to keep journalists away from the aftermath of suicide bombings, reporters in the region say.

But amid the sense that Israel is losing the propaganda war, it has begun allowing reporters almost immediate access to blast scenes and victims in hospital.

Palestinian television routinely shows the aftermath of Israeli raids.

Court

The Israeli Government has been arguing that its controversial security barrier would have prevented the attack.

All those who criticise Israel for building the fence should take a good look at this morning's pictures from Jerusalem
Israeli Foreign Ministry
"The anti-terrorist fence could have prevented this massacre," the foreign ministry website said in a note accompanying the video.

"All those who criticise Israel for building the fence should take a good look at this morning's pictures from Jerusalem," the ministry said.

Palestinians have said the barrier is an attempt to seize land.

A number of countries have expressed opposition to its route, which does not follow the Green Line - the generally recognised boundary between Israeli and Palestinian territory.

The International Court of Justice has agreed to hear arguments about the barrier following a request from the United Nations.

Israel argues that the court in The Hague has no jurisdiction over the issue. The US, UK and about two dozen other countries have filed briefs in support of Israel's position.




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