Leads to Hamas-Damascus, Hizballah – or both – in Jerusalem students’ murders
debkafile reports that the line of investigation developing the day after a Palestinian terrorist murdered 8 Israeli yeshiva students in Jerusalem is that the Hamas command in Damascus, or Hizballah in Beirut activated the killer, Ala Abu Dhaim 25, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship from Jebal Mukaber in S. Jerusalem.
Hamas-Gaza first took responsibility for the massacre, then backtracked.
The gunman sprayed automatic Kalashnikov fire on group after group of students studying Thursday night, March 6, in the library of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Their deaths were mourned by many thousands Friday morning.
After the killer’s family raised Hamas and Hizballah flags on their mourning tent, Jerusalem police arrested more than 10 of his relatives and friends. Hamas celebrated the attack in Gaza as “heroic.”
debkafile‘s political sources report that an explicit Hamas admission would present the Israeli government with a dilemma. It has already drawn up a detailed plan of action to fight Hamas in Gaza over its rocket blitz against Israeli civilians. Trying to play down the issue of responsibility, the police commissioner Dudi Cohen said the attack may have been an isolated incident. At the same time, the security preparedness across the country was extended to the whole of next week and the West Bank sealed. The government is faced with insistent calls for more proactive measures against Hamas.
Our counter-terror sources point to the Hizballah television broadcast from Beirut after the attack naming a group called “Phalange of free Men of Galilee – Groups of the Martyr Imad Mughniyeh and Martyrs of Gaza.”
The Phalange of Free Men of Galilee, established by the Lebanese Hizballah, has been responsible for a number of murders and shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers and policemen in the northern Israel region of Galilee during the last five years. The Beirut statement suggests collaboration between Hamas and Hizballah, both backed by Iran, in planning the Jerusalem outrage. Investigators, working under blackout, are also considering the Hizb al Tahrir, a fanatical Islamic organization with a substantial presence in Jerusalem, as a possible collaborator in setting up the attack or as a connecting link between Hizballah and Hamas.
Hizb al Tahrir has lately spread its wings among Jerusalem Arabs and is attracting some of Hamas’ cells in the city to its ranks. This group was behind the violent riots staged in the streets of Jerusalem this week in solidarity with Hamas in Gaza.