Yeshiva terrorist buried in east J'lem

Family agrees to small-scale burial procession; police detain photographer trying to cover funeral.

mourning tent 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
mourning tent 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Police detained Atta Awissat, Yediot Aharonot's photographer in Jerusalem, as he tried to cover the funeral of the terrorist who killed eight students at the capital's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva last week, which was being held in the Jebl Mukaber neighborhood on Thursday. Both Awissat and the terrorist, Ala Abu Dhaim, come from the neighborhood. "Over the past week," Awissat told The Jerusalem Post, "I was following the events in order to cover the terrorist's funeral." However, Jerusalem District police kept postponing the release of Dhaim's body out of concern the funeral would turn into a media spectacle. At 2 a.m. on Thursday, police handed the body over to the family, on condition that the funeral be a quiet ceremony with the participation of just four or five male family members. "I was driving toward the cemetery at around 1:45 a.m. because I had noticed signs that the funeral was about to take place. I thought the police might not let me work and would ask me to go away, but I never thought they would arrest me for doing my job," Awissat said. According to Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby, "The police set roadblocks around the village in advance to prevent the media from covering the funeral, since we had intelligence saying there would be disturbances and rioting by village residents who weren't allowed to take part in the ceremony. He [Awissat] arrived at the police roadblock and acted a bit provocatively, and due to the fear that he would inform other journalists about the funeral, he was detained until the it was over." Meanwhile, both Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter have come out in support of demolishing the home of Dhaim's family. "The minister [Dichter] instructed the police inspector-general to destroy the house on Friday [March 7], the day after the terrorist attack... The minister thinks this punishment is effective, harsh and deterring. The terrorist didn't live in a house of his own, and therefore the option to destroy his family's house is being examined," Dichter adviser Barak Seri told the Post. "Defense Minister Barak supports the destruction of the terrorist's house and the ministry is examining the issue legally and generally," Barak's office said in a statement. The Post has learned that Barak started to advocate the demolition of the house following his meeting on Monday night with the heads of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, who asked him to do so. But legal experts predict that securing court approval for the demolition will be a long and complicated process.