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2016-04-22 digital edition

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April 22, 2016  RSS feed
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Hamas IDs lone fatality in bus attack as bomber

Firefighters and rescue personnel at the scene of a bus bombing in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem on April 18.. Firefighters and rescue personnel at the scene of a bus bombing in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem on April 18.. JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Hamas said that a man who succumbed to wounds suffered in the Monday, April 18 bus bombing in Jerusalem was the terrorist who placed a bomb in the vehicle.

The terrorist group claimed in a statement that the bomber was a 19-year-old Palestinian from the al-Ayda refugee camp outside of Bethlehem, The Times of Israel reported. His name was not published as details of the Israeli investigation remain behind a gag order.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld had told the Times of Israel on Tuesday that police officers would question the wounded and did not rule out the possibility of potential suspects among them. Hamas in its statement did not fully claim responsibility for the attack, which injured 21.

Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center confirmed that a man who lost both of his legs in the bus explosion died Wednesday, April 20.

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet said six people had been arrested in a manhunt conducted after the bus bombing. Some of those arrested are from Bethlehem and are affiliated with Hamas, Channel 10 reported.

The public bus was traveling in southern Jerusalem when it exploded, engulfing the nearly empty vehicle in flames. The flames scorched an adjacent bus, as well as a nearby car. The victims – including a teenage girl, who was seriously injured in the explosion, and six others who were left in moderate condition – had burns on their upper bodies, as well as wounds from nails and ball bearings packed into the explosive device.

“Everything was dark and smoky, I looked for my daughter and she was all burned,” said Racheli Dadon, mother of the most seriously injured passenger, Eden Dadon. “In a month she’ll be 16, and now she’s sedated and on a respirator. I pray she gets out of this.”

Or Bondy, a 25-year-old newlywed and another victim of the blast, was also left burned and could barely walk at first.

“I always pushed it aside,” Bondy’s father, Tzadok, told the Times of Israel regarding Jerusalem’s recent wave of terror attacks. “Now it’s infiltrated my family.”

The attack follows a six-month wave of Palestinian stabbing and shooting attacks in Jerusalem, the West Bank and across Israel. The rate of those attacks had declined to normal levels, though Israeli officials remained concerned about a flare-up in violence surrounding upcoming religious holidays, including Passover.

Amid those fears, Israel announced plans to close off the West Bank April 21- April 24 at the start of Passover. Israel is particularly concerned about increased visits by Jews to the Temple Mount site during the eight-day holiday.

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