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Last Updated: Friday June 25 2004 15:24 GMT

I was on a bus when it was blown up.

Oz
Oz is an Israeli 12-year-old. He was injured on the way to school when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on the bus Oz was travelling in.

The bomber killed eight passengers and injured 62 including Oz.

Oz tells NR Extra what happened that day and how it has changed him.



Can you tell us what happened?

I was supposed to have an exam. In the morning a friend phoned.

We always take the same bus together and he asked me what time he should get on the bus, because he gets on a few stops before me, so I told him to leave his house in half an hour or so.

I washed my face, brushed my teeth, had a drink but suddenly felt unwell. I said to my mum: "Mum, I don't want to go to school." She said: "No, you're going to school, you've got a maths exam."

I went downstairs to the bus stop, and missed my bus. I was angry because I thought I'd missed my friend who was on that bus.

After five minutes another bus arrived, and I got on it. I gave the driver my ticket and saw my friend. He had kept a place for me next to him.

I sat next to him. We spoke, laughed, like everyday. There was nothing strange. Four stops before we got off for school there was the explosion.

'I didn't feel a thing'

A few seconds before the explosion my friend said something to me and I laughed and then there was the explosion.

When the explosion went off I didn't feel or hear anything.

About five minutes later I heard someone calling me, "Oz! Oz! Oz!" I lifted my head and saw my friend and some more people lying there on the floor.

I got up, my friend came towards me, grabbed me.

There was no way to get out of there. Everything was black. I couldn't see anything. We jumped out the window.

My friend could still see and feel so he protected himself when he jumped. I couldn't feel anything so I landed on my face. I lay on the road and dragged myself to the pavement.

I could see nothing but black. Revolting smell. I couldn't feel anything. I remember sitting up all at once in the ambulance. I had no idea where I was.

There was a woman with curly hair there, another woman and a bloke. They said "Shout! Shout your mum's name, your dad's name" because they didn't want me to lose consciousness.

I shouted all the names I knew.

I asked "How's Tzachi?", Tzachi was my friend on the bus and they said they'd try and find out for me.

What about your friend Tzachi?

He was lightly injured. He got out of hospital after a few days but I had to stay in for two weeks. He feels fine now.

What injuries did you have?

A piece of shrapnel scraped my head. Most of my injuries are shrapnel. All my body, shrapnel.

Has it changed you?

I never felt fear before. Whatever was going to happen would happen. I was never scared to get on a bus. But now, it's different. I'm more wary.

It affected me a lot. A lot of things changed. There are a lot of things that I could do before the attack that I can't do now.

I can't go swimming anymore. A lot more things are difficult for me. Football is more difficult. It's harder to run. I don't know.

Do you still travel on buses?

No.

Have you ever met a Palestinian child?

No.

Would you want to meet one?

No.

Do you believe there is ever a chance that there will be peace?

No.

Why?

Even if there will be peace, it won't be soon. I don't know, don't feel it. Because I don't think we can live together, two people. I don't think so.



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