Israel refuses to release body of yeshiva gunman

Monday, March 10, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli police on Monday evening were still refusing to release the body of Abu Ala Dheim for burial almost four days after he massacred eight young Jewish yeshiva students in Jerusalem.

The killer's funeral was scheduled for Monday, and was expected to be attended by thousands of Arabs from his eastern Jerusalem neighborhood and surrounding Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.

Israeli officials feared the planned funeral march and the burial ceremony would turn into an outpouring of support for terrorism, like the funerals of most Palestinian terrorists.

A day after Dheim infiltrated the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in downtown Jerusalem and fired more than 500 bullets at unsuspecting students his family erected a large mourning tent outside their home and adorned it with Hamas and Hizballah flags. Hamas and Hizballah are said to have jointly planned and funded Dheim's murderous rampage.

The mourning tent has since become a media spectacle and a focal point of attention for Arabs throughout the region who are hostile to Israel.

Police officials cited by Israel National News said whole scene was indicative of growing support for Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups among the Arabs of eastern Jerusalem.

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