update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Sbarro bombing victim dies after 22 years in a coma

The passing of Chana Nachenberg, 52, brings the death toll from the 2001 bombing to 16; some 130 people were wounded.

The aftermath of the Sbarro pizzaria bombing at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2001. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.
The aftermath of the Sbarro pizzaria bombing at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2001. Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

Chana Nachenberg, wounded in the 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem, died on Wednesday in Tel Aviv. She was 52 years old.

The New York-born Nachenberg had been in a vegetative state for 22 years since the attack, which took the lives of 15 civilians, including seven children, and wounded some 130 others. Nachenberg’s passing brings the death toll to 16.

The Sbarro pizzeria was located at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Jerusalem, on the corner of King George and Jaffa streets. On Aug. 9, 2001, the day of the bombing, Nachenberg was there with relatives from Riverdale, New York, and her two-year-old daughter, who was also injured in the blast.

In 2021, her daughter, Sarah Shalev, told JNS that during her teenage years it was so difficult for her to see her mother that she didn’t go to the hospital to visit. Sarah often had to leave her friends’ bat mitzvah celebrations, and later, their weddings, overwhelmed by the fact that her mother would never celebrate those events with her. Even fireworks and bonfires were at times a source of trauma.

The terrorists responsible for the attack continue to be rewarded by the Palestinian Authority, which allots $7,321 monthly to them and their families, according to a 2019 report by Palestinian Media Watch.

Bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti had collected $213,848 as of the report’s publication. The family of the suicide bomber, Izz al-Din al-Masri, also received payments.

Ahlam Tamimi, handsomely rewarded for planning the attack, was released from prison as part of a 2011 prisoner exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. She then fled to Jordan.

Tamimi is on America’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list as two of the victims were U.S. citizens: Malka Roth, 15, and Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31. However, the United States has been unable to secure her extradition as a 1995 extradition agreement was not ratified by Jordan’s government.

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