Jerusalem Bus Bomber’s ‘Affluent, Educated’ Parents Blame Israel, Jews for Son’s Actions; Warn Next Generation of Palestinians ‘Will Be Even More Dangerous’
In an interview with the Israeli media, the parents of the Jerusalem bus bomber expressed shock that their son committed “such an act” against innocent people, but blamed Israel and the Jews for it.
Discussing the April 18 suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem, in which 20 innocent people were wounded — and the perpetrator, Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, later died at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the city – the 19-year-old Palestinian’s mother and father told the Hebrew news site Walla why they “still can’t wrap their heads around” the whole episode.
They were referring both to the act itself and to the fact that Hamas claimed their son as a member (releasing a video of him in fatigues and a Hamas headband), insisting they had no idea he had even been involved with the terrorist organization.
“If I had known that this is what he was planning to do, I would have restrained him,” said Abu Srour’s father, Muhammad. “He wasn’t capable of hurting innocent people. That’s what I don’t understand. I never raised him like that. But you know who’s to blame for it? Only you Israelis. You led a whole generation of Palestinians to this. You and your government.”
He went on: “You Jews have to understand something: Abed al-Hamid did not come from a poor family; he came from an affluent one. He had his own car. A family with property and money… a cultured household — with manners, respect, education — which opposes violence.”
Muhammad Abu Srour also said that his son’s actions reflect the difference between the older and younger generations of Palestinians, asserting that the latter “does whatever it feels like.” For this he also accused the Jewish state of being at fault.
“You Israelis have to ask yourselves what causes a boy like ours to want to do such a thing. And I am telling you – Israel is responsible. Israel caused this generation to act this way. This generation has no future. No work. You pressure them and hurt them and create a hopeless situation for them. You are turning the young generation into what it is. The next generation, the young children, will be even more dangerous.”
Abu Srour’s mother, Um Ahmed – a teacher of Arabic at a school in Bethelehem – described by Walla as dressed in modern attire with no head-covering – stopped shy of defending her son’s suicide terrorism.
“It was an act of self-defense,” she said. “As an enlightened person, I would find it hard to do something like [blowing up a bus]. Perhaps I would have done things differently, maybe through writing. But everyone has his own way of [taking part in] resistance.”
When reminded by Walla that even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had condemned her son’s action, she called the PA leader by his more familiar Arabic nickname. “Abu Mazen does not represent the Palestinian people, as far as I’m concerned. When your prime minister [Netanyahu] backs the soldier who shot a Palestinian in Hebron, and our president condemns an action of ours, what am I supposed to think about him?”
She was referring to the recent case of an IDF soldier indicted for shooting and killing an already subdued terrorist – though Netanyahu, in fact, did not condone the action, and instead railed against it.
Um Ahmad’s own father, according to Walla, was killed in an Israel Air Force strike on a base of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She was born in Syria and moved to Bethlehem in the 1990s.
According to Hamas’ official website, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, made a condolence call to the Srour family on Saturday, saying, “The blood of martyrs is a beacon of light for those treading the path of liberation.”
The bus attack perpetrated by Abu Srour — a resident of Beit Jala near Bethlehem in the West Bank — marked the first suicide bombing in the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism, often referred to as the “stabbing intifada,” which began in mid-September.
Details surrounding the attack have been emerging slowly, due to gag orders imposed by Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, which is reportedly arresting Hamas members in the West Bank believed to be connected to the event.