Four victims of Jerusalem sucide bombing laid to rest
Security forces on high terror alert after 8 killed in bombing Sunday; no harsh IDF response seen to suicide attack.
Four of the eight victims of Sunday's suicide bombing in Jerusalem were laid to rest Monday afternoon. The eighth victim of the attack was identified Monday as Rahamim Rami Duga, 37, from Mevasseret Zion. He was to be buried Monday at 3 P.M.
Ilan Avisedris, 41, was to be buried in Be'er Sheva at 3 P.M. and Yehuda Haim, 48, was to be laid to rest at the Givat Shaul cemetery.
Yaffa Ben-Shimol, 57, was laid to rest at midday Monday in Jerusalem. Lior Azulai, 18, Benaya Jonathan Zuckerman, 18, Nathaniel Havshsush 20, and Yuval Ozana, 31, were buried Sunday.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack on Egged bus No. 14, which blew up during Sunday's morning rush hour, killing eight and wounding over 70 others.
IDF soldiers Sunday night demolished the house of the suicide bomber who carried out the attack, in the village of Hussan near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Israel Radio said Monday.
Security forces were on high alert thoughout Israel Monday, for fear of terror attacks timed to coincide with the opening of an International Court of Justice hearing in the Hague over the legality of the West Bank fence.
As the morning dawned, there were 52 active alerts of attacks, Israel Radio reported. Security forces were on the second-highest of five stages, just one stage down from a state of emergency, Army Radio said.
Government sources in Jerusalem said Sunday that Israel would not launch a harsh military response to the suicide bombing on a bus in the capital during the morning rush hour, which killed eight people and wounded 72 others.
The remarks followed a meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz held after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Security forces also went on heightened alert Sunday, due to terror warnings and the debate on the separation fence at The Hague, which is due to begin Monday.
Army Radio said that large numbers of troops were to be deployed along Green Line and around the Jerusalem Envelope, and that roadblocks were to be erected at the approaches to the major cities.
Military sources said Sunday that there will be no choice but to operate in Bethlehem in the near future, as there has been a significant rise in terrorist activities in the city over the past few months.
The suicide bomber who blew himself up on a Jerusalem bus at the end of January and killed 11 people was also dispatched from Bethlehem.
Sharon and Mofaz met for two hours, during which they were updated on the details of the suicide attack and discussed possible Israeli responses. Mofaz was also to convene a meeting of security officials later in the day, for a further assessment of how to respond to the bombing.
Sharon, addressing a tourism conference Sunday evening, said, "Today in Jerusalem, we received a painful reminder of the cruelty of Palestinian terrorism." He did not indicate what Israel's response would be.
The IDF on Sunday reinstated its siege on Bethlehem and arrested several members of the suicide bomber's family in Hussan.
A statement released by the militant group, associated with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, named the bomber as Mohammed Za'ul, 23, and made a reference to the separation fence being built by Israel.
Za'ul was married and a father to a child. His wife is reportedly pregnant.
The communique called the barrier "a Nazi wall which will not stop us attacking." The statement also claimed the attack was in retaliation for the killing of 15 Palestinians during an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip on February 11.
The blast took place at around 8:30 A.M. in the neighborhood of Rehavia, close to Liberty Bell Park. The bus, travelling to the Beit Hakerem neighborhood, is usually very crowded at that time of day.
According to Israel Radio, a Ministry of Transportation security guard scoured the bus and disembarked three stops before the place of the explosion.
All the wounded were evacuated from the scene of the blast to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, Hadassah University Hospital, Mt Scopus, Bikur Holim and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital.
One of the wounded was in critical condition at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, while six others were seriously wounded.