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Oct 4, 2003 | 8th of Tishri, 5764 | ח׳ בתשרי תשס״ד
Oct 4, 2003 – Irena Sofrin, 38, of Kiryat Bialik was one of 21 people killed in a suicide bombing carried out by a female terrorist from Jenin in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa. 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.
Irena, nee Nudelman, immigrated to Israel from Russia 30 years ago with her family and settled in Kiryat Yam, where she met her husband, Avnet Sofrin. She worked as a nurse at Rambam Hospital until she was forced to leave because of back pains. Irena and Avner had been having lunch at Maxim with their two children, Roy and Diana, when the blast occurred. Avner, himself wounded, evacuated the two wounded children through the window before returning to try and save Irena. She died died on arrival at the hospital.
Irena Sofrin was buried in the Tzur Shalom cemetery. She is survived by her husband Avner, daughter Diana, 12, and son Roy, 8, as well as her parents.
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