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Aug 31, 2004 | 14th of Elul, 5764 | י״ד באלול תשס״ד
Aug 31, 2004 – Eliyahu Uzan, 58 of Beersheba was one of 16 people killed in twin suicide bus bombings in Beersheba city buses. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
The two explosions took place within minutes of each other on two Beersheba city buses on route nos. 6 and 12, shortly before 3:00 P.M. The buses were traveling along Beersheba’s main street Rager Blvd, near the city hall. About 100 people were also wounded.
Eliyahu Uzan the father of six, was a retired worker of the Jewish Agency and was on his way home from the market when he was killed. His bus was the second one attacked and the driver had stopped to let his passengers flee the nearby first exploded bus which was on fire. Uzan left the bus but returned to retrieve a bag of grapes he had forgotten in the excitement when the second bomber detonated himself.
Uzan was known as “the birdman of the neighborhood” for his hobby of raising dozens of species of birds and his ability to mimic their calls. He also collected old watches and coins. Friends recalled that although he was of modest means, Eliyahu would help others with a kind word or a joke that would always lift their spirits.
“We would always eat lunch together and talk for hours,” related his brother-in-law Dov Haviv. Haviv lost his wife several months ago and relied on Uzan’s support. “He was more than a brother to me,” said Haviv.
“Eliyahu was always a happy person, helping others, always full of the joy of life,” recalled his brother Shlomo. “This was despite the fact that his personal circumstances were not simple: He was unemployed for many years, but even when he didn’t have money to live on he didn’t complain. He made do with what he had. He would always say that things were okay.”
Eliyahu Uzan was buried in Beersheba. He is survived by his wife, three sons, three daughters and five grandchildren.
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