Israeli police on Thursday confirmed that a 19-year-old Palestinian man carried out a bus bombing in Jerusalem this week, as the Islamic militant group Hamas praised the man as a “martyr” for the attack.
Police identified the attacker as Abdel Hameed Abu Srour, a resident of the West Bank city of Beit Jala. Police said he was critically wounded in the bombing and died Wednesday in an Israeli hospital.
About 20 people were injured in the bombing, some seriously, including a teenage girl who suffered severe burns. A hospital spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday one man later died, but did not name him.
In an announcement on one of its websites, Hamas said Abu Srour was a member of the group but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack.
Israeli police said they arrested Hamas members a day after the attack who are suspected of planning and executing the attack, which was reminiscent of the grisly suicide bombings that hit Jerusalem and other cities during the Palestinian uprising over a decade ago.
The blast came amid a seven-month wave of Palestinian assaults — mostly stabbings, shootings and car ramming attacks — that has killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. At least 190 Palestinians, the majority said by Israel to be attackers, have been killed during the same time.Israel says the violence is fueled by a campaign of Palestinian incitement compounded on social media sites that glorify and encourage attacks. Palestinians say the violence is due to a lack of hope for gaining independence after years of failed peace efforts.