'J'lem attacker targeted rightist rabbi'

Palestinian sources say gunman went on yeshiva shooting spree after he failed to track down target.

abu dahim 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
abu dahim 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The target of last Thursday's shooting attack in Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva was a far right-wing rabbi, the Hizbullah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Akhbar reported Friday. The Lebanese newspaper quoted Palestinian sources as saying that the terrorist, Ala Abu Dhaim, planned to kill "an extremist rabbi who taught in the yeshiva," but having failed to track down the rabbi, he instead went on a shooting spree, killing eight students. According to the sources, the group behind the attack was about to take responsibility for the murder of the rabbi, but when it became clear that the terrorist had failed to fulfill his mission, the group decided to remain silent. The paper also quoted the sources as saying that the terror group had "an unsettled score with Israel." In addition, the paper quoted other Palestinian sources as saying that Israel had asked the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority government to hand over an Islamic Jihad and an Aksa Martyrs Brigades gunman, claiming that they were involved in planning the Mercaz Harav attack. According to the Palestinian sources, Israel believes that the two transported the terrorist to acquire the gun he used to kill the eight students.