Funerals are held for victims of bus accident

Teacher and several children killed near Jerusalem late last week are laid to rest; police investigation continues.

February 18, 2012 21:38
2 minute read.
Onlookers at the site of the bus accident.

bus accident jerusalem crash 390 R. (photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)


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Victims of the bus accident in which five children and their teacher were killed were buried over the weekend as police continued their investigation.

At least 30 others were injured in the crash.

The accident took place on Thursday morning when an Israeli-Arab driver smashed his truck into a Palestinian school bus north of Jerusalem. The bus had set out from a Palestinian school in Anata, northeast of the capital, for a day trip, carrying around 60 children.

In the last two days, many op-ed writers slammed the kindergarten administration’s decision to take the children on a fun trip in the rainy weather, and called upon Palestinian authorities to seriously investigate the accident, as well as the bus’s safety condition.

Officials blamed poor weather conditions for the accident.

The driver of the truck remains at the Hadassah University Medical Center on Mount Scopus in moderate to serious condition. Police are waiting for his condition to improve to question him.

“We will create a detailed report on the accident after we complete our investigation,” a Judea and Samaria Police spokeswoman said.

Teacher Ola Julani, 37, and children Marwa Amireh, Lamis Hamdan, Abdallah Hindi, Milad Salama and Zaid Nemer were buried over the weekend.

Nemer, although from Anata, was buried in the al-Arroub refugee camp where his extended family lives.

Salah al-Dweik, five, who was thought dead, was found in Hadassah’s Ein Kerem hospital Friday morning. According to Anata Mayor Ibrahim al- Rifai, the pupil’s name was not in the hospital’s lists when his parents searched for him, “But thank God, he survived and is still receiving treatment in Hadassah,” he said.

There are no official figures on the number of wounded, since victims are spread out at hospitals in both the Palestinian territories and Israel. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, there are at least 30 injured, including four who are in critical condition. Most of the victims have serious burns or amputations. Both of the bus driver’s legs were amputated, ACRI reported.

Rifai told The Jerusalem Post that some passengers may succumb to their wounds, including two teachers, Sana’ Kurneh and Ra’eda E’layan, and five-year- old Mira Juwailes, who are critically injured.

The wounded are being treated in the Hadassah University Medical Centers on Mount Scopus and in Ein Kerem, Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva, and hospitals in Ramallah and Nablus.

Two central mourners’ tents were erected in Anata and the Shuafat refugee camp, where many of the victims lived.

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