JERUSALEM – The Jerusalem shooting massacre that left eight Jewish seminary students dead yesterday was planned on behalf of the Hezbollah terrorist group by an activist from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization, according to senior Israeli and Palestinian security officials speaking to WND.
Israel, coordinating with Palestinian intelligence services, has specific information the bloody massacre was financed by Hezbollah and was planned in the West Bank city of Bethlehem by Muhammad Shehadi, a Fatah activist who ran as a Fatah candidate but lost in the 2006 Palestinian elections.
The attack reportedly was carried out by an Arab who worked as a driver at the rabbinical seminary and lived in the Jerusalem village of Jable al-Mujabre.
WND reported exclusively yesterday an Arab ID from Jable al-Mujabre was found amid the carnage and dead bodies in the yeshiva.
Fatah activist Shehadi received financing from Hezbollah to plan the attack, according to senior security sources speaking to WND.
Shehadi’s Bethlehem house was raided and demolished this morning by Israeli forces. The Fatah activist, who was not inside his home, is still at large.
According to Palestinian security officials familiar with Shehadi, after losing the 2006 election as a Fatah leader, Jihadi worked for about six months for the Islamic Jihad terror group but then switched back to Fatah.
“He would go wherever the money was,” said a Palestinian security official. “He thought he could get more money from Islamic Jihad, so he worked for them for a few months but then switched back to Fatah because he didn’t like his Islamic Jihad salary.”
According to Israeli security sources, Shehadipreviously assisted in terrorist attacks carried out from the Bethlehem area by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s declared military wing.
Yesterday, a terrorist gunman infiltrated the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, located near the entrance to Jerusalem, and fired hundreds of rounds of bullets at students studying in the building’s main library, killing eight students and wounding about a dozen.
Scenes of the yeshiva’s blood-soaked floors and of bodies being lined up outside the yeshiva’s library were broadcast on Israeli TV. Prayer books, torahs and Talmud texts stained with blood were carried from the building.
The head of the ZAKA emergency services – among the first to arrive at the yeshiva following the attack – described the scene as a “slaughterhouse.”
The fatalities have been identified as Yochai Lipschitz, 18, of Jerusalem; Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shiloh; Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav Hashahar; Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem; Roey Roth, 18, of Elkana; Segev Pniel Avihayil, 15, of Neveh Daniel; Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat; and Maharata Trunoch, 26, of Ashdod.
Thousands gathered in Jerusalem today for the eight students’ burials.
In his eulogy for his pupils, yeshiva head Rabbi Ya’akov Shapira called the shooting an attack “on everyone in Jerusalem” and criticized Israel’s expressed willingness to cede territory to the Palestinians.
“The murderer did not want to kill these people in particular but everyone living in the holy city of Jerusalem,” he said. “The murderers are the Amalek of our day, coming to remind us that Amalek has not disappeared, just changed its appearance.”
Meanwhile, Israel imposed a complete closure on the West Bank and went on high alert in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv based on specific information of further terror attacks.
Israel has the name of at least one Palestinian believed to be on his way to carry out another attack. The Palestinian, whose name is being withheld by WND at the request of authorities, is an American citizen of Palestinian Arab descent who recently returned to live with his family in Bethlehem.
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