Israel confirmed on Thursday that the explosion on a bus in Yerushalayim on Monday was a suicide bombing and that individuals suspected of a role in the bombing were arrested in Beit Lechem, according to a Jerusalem Post report.
The Shin Bet said that the single fatality in the blast was the bomber himself, Abdel-Hamid Abu Srour, 19, from the village of Beit Jala, whom Hamas had said belonged to the Kassam Brigades, the organization’s armed wing.
Details of the investigation remain under gag order.
The Shin Bet said it had conducted joint operations with the Israel Police and the IDF in a security sweep in Beit Lechem.
The terrorist’s father denied his son’s involvement.
“I was not expecting that my son would do such an act. My son did not make me feel even for 1 percent that he has feelings or thoughts like that. Never. I know that my son failed in one subject in his secondary schools exam and was preparing to take the exam again and pass it and focus on his future. This is the deal that we had together, me and him,” Mohammad Abu Srour said from the family home in Beit Lechem.
However, Abu Srour’s social media profiles showed that the Palestinian teenager was an enthusiastic supporter of The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas. In particular, he was an admirer of Yahya Ayyash, former chief bomb maker for Hamas, who was assassinated by Israel in January 1996.
Participants in a solidarity march for the suicide bomber and his family in Beit Lechem chanted their support for Hamas saying, “Ayyash will come back,” referring to Yahya Ayyash.