Gunman in Jersulam attack identified but not agency behind it
The gunman responsible for the for the killing of eight students at a prominent Jewish seminary in Jerusalem Thursday night was identified as Ala Abu Dhaim, reported the New York Times.
Abu, who is believed to have acted alone, once worked as a driver at the seminary said his family in Arab East Jerusalem. However, Rueters reported, the director of the seminary said on israeli radio that he did not know Abu and the seminary did not employ Arab drivers.
The gunman enetered the seminary Thursday night while the students paryed, and immediately killed a 15-year-old and 26-year-old at the enterance of the Mercaz Harvav yeshiva. He then enterd the first-florr library and opened fire using a Kalahnikov rifle, the New York Times reported the Israeli police said. In addition, to the eight students killed, at least nine others were injured, at least 3 seriously, the paper reported.
The families of the slain students mourned their deaths Friday, first by bringing the bodies to the seminary in the morning and then at noon buring them at locations inside and outside of Jerusalem, as the Israeli government tightened security around the city, the New York Times reported.
The New York Times reported the attack came at a time of increased Israeli-Palenstine tension, and the radical Islamic movement Hamas in Gaza did not take credit for the attack but did praise it.
"We bless the operation. It will not be the last," said Hamas in a text message the paper reported.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Jerusalem's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, admitted the responsibility for the killings is still unclear.
The kiilngs have been condemned by the United Nations and President Bush extended his condolences and condemnation to the attack as well.
The killings will likely put increased pressure on Olmert to respond somehow with force reported the paper. However, before actions can be taken it must be certain who is behind the slaining of the students, said Regev.
"We will act to protect our people," he said.