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George Matar

Oct 15, 2003 | 19th of Tishri, 5764 | י״ט בתשרי תשס״ד

Oct 15, 2003 – George Matar, 59, of Haifa was one of 21 people killed in a suicide bombing carried out by a female terrorist from Jenin in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa on October 4. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

The blast devastated the restaurant, of joint Jewish-Arab ownership, on Hahagana Boulevard near the southern entrance of the coastal city. It was packed mostly with regular Saturday customers. The bomber, Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old lawyer from Jenin, managed to get past Maxim’s security guard before blowing herself up in the middle of the restaurant. The security guard, an Israeli Arab, was killed in the attack, along with three other Israeli Arab employees of the restaurant. The victims included five members of the Almog family from Haifa and five members of the Zer-Aviv family from Kibbutz Yagur. Four children were killed and 60 people were wounded in the bombing.

George Matar, a Christian Arab from Haifa who was responsible for customer service at the Maxim restaurant, was standing near the cash register when the bomb exploded. Mortally wounded, he died on October 15, never having regained consciousness.

His cousin Tony Matar, one of the owners of the restaurant, said, “I will always remember his smile and his concern for the customers. It was so important to him that they were satisfied. I’m sure that our regular customers will remember him for many years.” Tony added, “This was not just an attack, it was a cruel massacre. We all believe in God, and God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The terrorists say that they are acting in revenge. What would they do in my place? Take revenge and kill? The answer is no. This cycle of bloodshed must cease.”

George Matar was buried in the Kfar Samir Christian cemetery in Haifa. He is survived by his wife Ilham, his son Pierre, daughters Marlene and Claire, and four grandchildren.

Israel's Voice commitment to memorialize each victim of terror doesn't end here. We are currently reaching out to those who have been victimized and to every family who's lost loved one(s) due to terror. Your story must be told and we intend to create a documentary for each individual. Silence is no longer an option. Contact us today to set up an appointment. info@israelvoice.org Our preference is to make your story heard in English, but Hebrew is also fine. Videos will be subtitled for the world to understand.

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Oct 15, 2003
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