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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Community mourns Scots student
Jerusalem - general picture
Dr Collins said people are aware of the risks in Israel
A leader of Glasgow's Jewish community has spoken of its grief at the death of a teenager from the city in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing.

Yoni Jesner, 19, was one of six people killed when a Palestinian bomber exploded a device on a crowded bus.

Dr Collins, a close friend of the family, said news got through "very quickly" that Mr Jesner had been badly hurt and his cousin Gideon Black was slightly injured on Thursday.


People say you don't go to streets in downtown Jerusalem, for example, because there have been bombings there

Dr Kenneth Collins

On Friday, the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv said Mr Jesner had died of his injuries.

Dr Collins said relatives and people throughout the Jewish community in Glasgow had been united in grief and sympathy for Mr Jesner and his family.

Paying tribute to the teenager, he said Mr Jesner was an example to other young people and had planned to be a doctor.

For Jewish people living in Britain, what happened to Mr Jesner and his cousin once again brought home the effects of violence in the Middle East, said Dr Collins.

He said: "It has been a very difficult time over the last couple of years and the suicide bombings have put a considerable amount of fear in people going about their daily business."

He pointed to the "considerable drop-off" in tourists visiting Israel but said relatives were making a point of visiting to "show solidarity" with people living there.

Dr Kenneth Collins
Dr Kenneth Collins: "A difficult time"
A regular visitor to Israel, Dr Collins said people had been able to relax and start going about their business again in the country following a "lull" in attacks in recent weeks.

However, the sudden return of suicide bombings shattered all that, he said.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Dr Collins said the students had gone to live in Israel in their gap year and were aware of the risks.

He said: "It has been a very popular thing for British kids to spend a gap year in Israel.

"This is a way for Jewish youngsters to connect with their heritage and have a year of maturing before they go to university and that's where Yoni was when he got caught up in this.

Dr Collins visited the country recently and said: "I think you're always aware of the risks. You do look at certain streets and say, 'I wonder about going down here'.

"People say you don't go to streets in downtown Jerusalem, for example, because there have been bombings there before but the whole point of indiscriminate terror is you don't know where the next attack is going to be."


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20 Sep 02 | Scotland
19 Sep 02 | Scotland
19 Sep 02 | Middle East
19 Sep 02 | Middle East
17 Sep 02 | Middle East
10 Sep 02 | Middle East
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