Jerusalem (Sep. 13)
A terrorist hand grenade attack in the Old City last night fatally wounded a 65-year-old Italian visitor and injured 28 other persons, most of them Roman Catholic tourists on a religious pilgrimage. Three of the wounded were listed in poor condition at local hospitals this morning. The others sustained only slight wounds.
According to police, a group of 47 Catholic pilgrims was returning from mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and had stopped at a gift shop in an alley leading to the New Gate in the northern wall of the city. Two assailants hurled grenades from a rooftop, a senior police official said, but an eye-witness said two men threw grenades from a corner of the alley and fled.
The injured included three Arabs, two Dutch tourists and an American soldier. The fatally wounded man died shortly after arrival at a hospital. His name was not immediately disclosed but he was reported to be from Milan and was a member of the Catholic party which arrived in Israel last Thursday on a five-day visit.
ISRAEL WILL PAY MEDICAL, BURIAL EXPENSES
Yohanan Meroz, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry, expressed shock and sorrow in a message to the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv and sent condolences to the victim’s family. The National Insurance Institute (NII) today informed the injured visitors that all their medical expenses would be covered by the NII, as would the burial costs of the dead man. Moreover, those victims permanently crippled by the attack would be entitled to lifelong pensions from the NII, the group was told.
The incident was the second fatal attack on European tourists in Jerusalem in less than a month. On Aug. 23 a German tourist died after he was shot in the head while walking along the Via Dolorosa.