JERUSALEM (Oct. 12)
Funeral services were held here Sunday for an Israeli student and newlywed who was fatally shot Saturday evening in the Old City. Yigal Shahaf, 24, an electronics student who worked as a guard at night, was shot at close range near the Via Dolorosa while strolling with his wife of four months and a couple of friends from Netanya.
Jerusalem police are holding seven suspects in the murder, but there is no indication that any of them was directly linked to the shooting.
The funeral for Shahaf took place barely 24 hours after the attack. He died of his wounds Sunday in a Jerusalem hospital.
Shahaf’s wife, Ronit, seemed unable to grasp the tragedy. She mumbled, “We were so happy together,” as Shahaf was laid to rest. Among those attending the funeral were Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek and Deputy Minister Ronni Milo.
Shahaf had only recently been discharged from lengthy service in the air force, where he worked as a technician.
Police and general security services are continuing their investigations into the murder.
Premier Yitzhak Shamir told Israel Radio after the murder that Israel should consider introducing the death penalty in face of the attack against Shahaf and other terrorists attacks. “I think we should soon reopen the discussion of this utmost penalty in particularly heinous and inhuman cases,” Shamir said Sunday.
TENSION CONTINUES IN THE OLD CITY
In the meantime, tension continued Sunday in the Old City following a declaration by the “Temple Mount Faithful,” a Jewish nationalist group, of their intentions to pray on the Temple Mount. The site of the First and Second Temples is presently the location of the Dome of the Rock (the Mosque of Omar) and the El Aksa Mosque. The Dome of the Rock is the third most holy site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.
Police used tear gas Sunday attempting to disperse hundreds of Arab protesters on the Temple Mount. The Arabs demonstrated and threw rocks and bottles at the police. Three policemen were wounded by rocks, and 12 Arabs were arrested.
Following a calming of the crowd, police allowed five members of the Temple Mount Faithful to tour the site.
A number of Jerusalem merchants closed their shops because of the unrest, and also in solidarity with a commercial strike this weekend in the Gaza Strip, following the fatal shooting of four terrorists there last week.
The unrest continued Sunday in the Gaza Strip. In the morning, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at an army patrol touring the Shati refugee camp in Gaza. A gasoline bomb exploded, but there were no casualties from it. Security forces detained one suspect. In other instances there, security forces opened fire and used clubs to disperse demonstrators. Spirits were cooled by early afternoon, however, and shops reopened.
Despite the tension, hundreds of Israelis spent the Succoth holiday at the Katif region, a Jewish resort area along the sandy beaches of the Gaza Strip. Others attended an annual march in the area.