The Stairway to Heaven - published by Gefen Publishing House (November 2010)
Immediately after the Oslo peace agreement was signed by Arafat (PLO leader) and the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Foreign Minister, Simon Perez, Israel underwent a series of terror attacks, suicide bombers, and an invasion of an army of terrorists who aimed at the complete destruction of the state of Israel. There were no places left inside or outside the country which remained unaffected. Terrorist were found in the most impenetrable sites and their harvest of lives was indescribable.
No contrast was made between civilians and soldiers, or between a child and an adult; they were Jews and Israelis and they were predestined to die as per the Palestinian concepts.
When the peace agreement was signed, there was a great burst of joy from both sides of the conflict and both Israeli and Palestinian walked the streets holding a dove and an olive branch. It seemed that their joint dreams were about to materialize.
So strong was the elation that it swept aside all preliminary precautions and a frenetic implementation of the peace agreement began with the immediate release of occupied cities and territories by Israel. The elation only lasted a few days and then collapsed when a procession of abhorrent terrorists made their way into the heart of Israel. They came both during the day and night, and exploded themselves amidst passersby, in buses, in malls, coffee bars, anywhere and everywhere. People died at a rate that no country could sustain. Those who remained alive were mentally and physically crippled for the rest of their days. Babies in their cradle were turned into living torches or into hashed meat.
The nightmarish horror perpetuated itself and it seemed that nothing could stop it. It spared no one inside the country or on its borders. Travelers were targeted and killed in their cars
Beit Lid junction is nearly a countryside location lost amidst vegetation on the road between Netanya and Hadera. It had a small kiosk managed by an Israeli family. Soldiers commonly swarmed inside and outside the kiosk at the early hours of the day waiting for transportation to their military bases. Parents' cars were also to be seen there when they drove their offspring to the connecting junction.
But this location was also very close to Palestinian cities, known as anthills of terrorist activity. On January 22, 1995, on a leisurely Sunday morning, when soldiers gathered around the bus station and the kiosk, a Palestinian terrorist, disguised as an Israeli soldier, loaded with at least a ten kilogram belt bomb, coldly positioned himself as close as possible to a large group of soldiers and activated the bomb button. The first terrorist thus blew himself apart amongst the group of soldiers near the kiosk. Then the second terrorist also disguised as an Israeli soldier, calmly waited until rescuers rushed to help the first casualties before activating his bomb. The carnage was indescribable. So many lives were lost and hundreds wounded.
The terrorists weren't afraid to die. Their main purpose was to succeed in their mission to kill as many Jews as possible.
They were convinced that by their horrible act, they would be rewarded in the next world with Paradise and 70 virgins waiting for them.
To all victims of terror anywhere in the world and to the twenty-two Israeli stair climbers.
If there is a Heaven as it is believed, you have been thrown into it brutally and unexpectedly.
If our existence on earth is only a sequence, a part of a succession to a life cycle or other spaces beyond our sight, you went there, earlier than planned.And if there is paradise, you won it tragically, even though someone wrongly believed that by ending your life, he would receive Heaven as a reward.