Haaretz: Israelis evacuated before Jordan bombings

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz claims Israeli citizens were evacuated from the Radisson Hotel in Amman hours before the bombing that killed 57. There is no attribution for the source of this information:

Last update – 00:45 10/11/2005
Israelis evacuated from Amman hotel hours before bombings
By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

A number of Israelis staying on Wednesday at the Radisson hotel were evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by security personnel.

The Foreign Ministry stated Wednesday that no Israeli tourists are known to have been injured in the blasts. Representatives of Israel’s embassy in Amman were in contact with local authorities to examine any report of injured Israelis, but none were received. There are often a number of Israeli businessman and tourists in Amman, including in the hotels hit Wednesday.

Israel’s counter-terror headquarters on Wednesday recommended Israeli citizens not travel in Jordan. Travel warnings regarding Jordan were tightened a few months ago, but many Israelis still visit the country. Many also visit other regions such as the Jordanian Arava and the ancient city of Petra.

The following is from the Jerusalem Post:

Israeli Embassy spokesman Jacob Raber said there were no immediate reports of Israeli casualties. The embassy said it had no prior warnings. “We didn’t have any more alert than usual,” Raber told The Jerusalem Post by phone from Amman.

See our last post on terror in Jordan.

  1. Haaretz reverses itself
    Last update – 13:11 10/11/2005
    No truth to report of Israeli evacuations before Amman bombs
    By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

    There is no truth to reports that Israelis staying at the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman on Wednesday were evacuated by Jordanian security forces before the bombing that took place there.

    The Israelis were escorted back to Israel by Jordanian security personnel only after the attacks had taken place, contrary to earlier reports.

  2. Israeli Arab victim doesn’t count
    From Ynet:

    The body of an Israeli man killed in the terror offensive in Jordan’s capital Wednesday night has been identified, the Foreign Ministry said.

    The victim has been identified as 40-year-old Husam Fathi Mahajna from the Arab-Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm.


    Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, Yaakov Hadas, told Israel’s leading news source Ynet, “Much to our joy, there are no Israeli casualties.”

  3. LA Times weighs in

    The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israelis staying at the Radisson on Wednesday had been evacuated before the attacks and escorted back home “apparently due to a specific security threat.”

    Amos N. Guiora, a former senior Israeli counter-terrorism official, said in a phone interview with The Times that sources in Israel had also told him about the pre-attack evacuations.

    “It means there was excellent intelligence that this thing was going to happen,” said Guiora, a former leader of the Israel Defense Forces who now heads the Institute for Global Security Law and Policy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “The question that needs to be answered is why weren’t the Jordanians working at the hotel similarly removed?”

  4. Haaretz: Reports of Israelis evacuated before attack were false

    By Yoav Stern

    The groups of Israelis who were staying at the Jordanian hotels that were bombed on Wednesday were evacuated from the hotels immediately following the attacks, and not before they occured, as Haaretz erroneously reported yesterday.

    Diplomatic sources told Haaretz yesterday that the evacuation, which an initial report had said was carried out because of security alerts ahead of the attack, actually began only once the extent of the attack became known, to protect Israeli nationals from any additional attacks.

    Two groups of Israelis were evacuated from Amman Wednesday night – one was a group of Israeli tourists from Abu Ghosh; the other was a group of foremen at Jordanian plants who came to Amman for a professional conference. The Allenby Bridge border crossing, ordinarily closed to Israeli citizens, was opened last night to facilitate their return.

    The initial report in Haaretz led to a stream of rumors in the Arab media that the Jordanian authorities knew about the terrorist attack in advance, which Jordanian officials denied categorically.