Posted at 09:50 p.m. PDT; Saturday, September 11, 1999

     Did time run out for terrorist bombers?

     by Barbara Demick
     Knight Ridder Newspapers

     JERUSALEM - Israelis and Palestinians may be forging ahead on the big issues of peace, but they
     still disagree on one of the most mundane fundamentals: What time is it?

     Israeli time fell back last weekend, while the Palestinians, like most of the rest of the world,
     remained on Daylight Saving Time. The time difference always causes much confusion - and, this
     year, apparently at least one blessing.

     It appears the botched car bombings last Sunday in Tiberius and Haifa may have gone awry
     because the terrorists were confused about the time. One theory being explored is that the bombs
     and timing devices were prepared by West Bank Palestinians, who set them to go off shortly after
     6 p.m., Palestinian time.

     But those responsible for planting the bombs are believed to have been residents of a village inside
     Israel, for whom 6 p.m. was an hour later. The theory is that the three Arab terrorists thought they
     had time to park the cars and get away safely before the bombs inside went off. They failed to
     take into account the time change.

     The Haifa bomb exploded in a parking lot just after 5 p.m., killing the suspected bomber. Israeli
     police believe the terrorist intended to plant the bomb in the bus station. The Tiberius bomb
     exploded around the same time and killed the two terrorists inside the car. There was only one
     serious injury of an Israeli, a 73-year-old woman.

     Israel has been resetting its clocks earlier than the rest of the world for decades in deference to
     religious Jews who must say penitential prayers before sunrise in the weeks leading up to Yom
     Kippur, the day of atonement which this year falls on Sept. 20.
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