Following days of police silence and media speculation, the Shin Bet on Thursday confirmed the identity of the Palestinian who detonated a bomb on a bus in Jerusalem on Monday.
The confirmation comes less than twenty-four hours after Hamas claimed responsibility, and lauded its operative, Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, 19, of Beit Jala near Bethlehem, for carrying out the attack that wounded 20 men, women and children, seven of them seriously.
The explosion on Moshe Baram Street, a major thoroughfare in the southern part of the city, triggered an inferno that engulfed the No. 12 bus as well as a second, empty, Egged bus and car. Six fire trucks were needed to extinguish the blaze, which reduced all three vehicles to charred metal.
Srour, a resident of Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem, died on Wednesday night at the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center following multiple surgeries after his legs were blown off in the explosion.
None of the passengers sustained critical injuries, with the only death being Srour’s.
Srour did not carry any identification, slowing the intensive police-Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation that ensued. However, after Hamas’ named the terrorist, Israel made arrests shortly after.
“A major part of the investigation was to find out who [the terrorist] was, and who helped him plan the attack,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said shortly after Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court lifted the gag order of the case early Thursday evening.
“Immediately following the explosion, the police and Shin Bet launched a joint investigation that led to several arrests on Wednesday of terrorists from Beit Jala who helped Srour plan and carry out the attack.”
Srour’s father was among those arrested, Rosenfeld said, adding that more arrests are expected.