An Israeli-Arab gunman later identified as a member of Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia massacred eight Jewish bible students at a Jerusalem seminary on Thursday evening.
Eleven other students were wounded, many seriously, in an attack that saw the perpetrator fire more than 500 bullets before finally being shot and wounded by an armed instructor at the yeshiva. An Israeli army officer who responded to the scene rushed into the building and finished off the killer.
The terrorist was a resident of Jerusalem who it was also later revealed worked as a driver for the yeshiva, giving him intimate knowledge of when and where to enter the facility and quickly find his victims gathered for a study session marking the start of a new Hebrew month and dealing with the upcoming Bible-based festival of Purim.
In a statement broadcast on Hizballah's Al-Manar television station, the shooter was identified as a member of a new Israeli-Arab wing recently established by the Lebanese terror group.
Meanwhile, Ynet reported that the killers family set up a mourning tent and draped green Hamas flags outside their eastern Jerusalem home.
The mood on the western side of Jerusalem on Friday was solemn as thousands gathered at the scene of the attack to hear a mass eulogy by the yeshiva's distraught rabbis. The attack was perpetrated at a yeshiva known as Merkaz Harav, which is the heart of the religious Zionist movement in Israel. Rabbis and other religious commentators said the terrorists' decision to attack that yeshiva sent a deliberate message confirming that Israel is engaged in a religious war with Islam over control of the Holy Land.
Israeli government officials, who refuse to accept that Israel and the Judeo-Christian world are engaged in a religious war with Islam, issued grave statements of condemnation, but insisted the attack would in no way disrupt efforts to reach an agreement whereby Israel will surrender control of Judea, Samaria and half of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs.
The eight Israelis killed in the attack, all but one of them teenagers 19 or younger in age, were buried in their respective hometowns Friday morning. By midday, seven of the wounded youngsters were still in Jerusalem hospitals, three of them in serious condition.