Twenty-three people were killed and over 130 wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated a five-kilogram device packed with ball-bearings on a crowded No. 2 Egged bus in Jerusalem's Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood. Many of the passengers were returning from prayers at the Western Wall when they were killed. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
For the ultra-Orthodox, the attack took place not only during the vacation, but also on the eve of the month of Elul, the month of selihot - the special penitential prayers recited during the week before Rosh Hashanah.
As a result of the attack, the Cabinet decided on September 1, 2003, among others, to wage an all-out war against Hamas and other terrorist elements, and to freeze the diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority.
- Avraham Bar-Or, 12, of Jerusalem
- Binyamin Bergman, 15, of Jerusalem
- Yaakov Binder, 50, of Jerusalem
- Feiga Dushinski, 50, of Jerusalem
- Miriam Eisenstein, 20, of Bnei Brak
- Lilach Kardi, 22, of Jerusalem
- Menachem Leibel, 24, of Jerusalem
- Elisheva Meshulami, 16, of Bnei Brak
- Tehilla Nathanson, 3, of Zichron Ya'acov
- Chava Nechama Rechnitzer, 19, of Bnei Brak
- Mordechai Reinitz, 49, and Issachar Reinitz, 9, of Netanya
- Maria Antonia Reslas, 39, of the Philippines
- Liba Schwartz, 54, of Jerusalem
- Hanoch Segal, 65, of Bnei Brak
- Goldie Taubenfeld, 43, and Shmuel Taubenfeld, 3 months, of New Square, New York
- Rabbi Eliezer Weisfish, 42, of Jerusalem
- Shmuel Wilner, 50, of Jerusalem
- Shmuel Zargari, 11 months, of Jerusalem.
- Fruma Rahel Weitz, 73, of Jerusalem died of her wounds on August 23.
- Mordechai Laufer, 27, of Netanya died of his wounds on September 5.
- Tova Lev, 37, of Bnei-Brak died of her wounds on September 12.