Palestinian wounded in Jerusalem bus bombing dies, Hamas claims him

Palestinian wounded in Jerusalem bus bombing dies, Hamas claims him

Palestinian wounded in Jerusalem bus bombing dies, Hamas claims him

Flames rise at the scene where an explosion tore through a bus in Jerusalem on Monday setting a second bus on fire, in what an Israeli official said was a bombing, April 18, 2016 - REUTERS photo

A Palestinian militant from the occupied West Bank who was wounded when his bomb exploded on an Israeli commuter bus in Jerusalem on April 18 has died, an Israeli hospital spokeswoman and a pro-Hamas website said on April 20.

A spokeswoman for the Jerusalem hospital where the wounded man was treated confirmed he had succumbed to his injuries. Israeli authorities have placed a gag order on the investigation and declined to release any details. 

The pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre identified him as Abdel-Hamid Abu Srour from the Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem and said he was a member of the Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas militant Islamist group. 

The explosion blew up a bus, wounding 16 people, and caused a fire on a nearby bus. In a speech hours afterwards, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu linked the attack to a six-month-old wave of Palestinian street violence. 

Israeli medical sources said six people wounded by the blast were still being treated in hospital, the rest had been released by late April 20. 

Suicide bombings on Israeli buses were a hallmark of the Palestinian revolt of 2000-2005 but have been rare since. With Palestinians carrying out less organised stabbing, car-ramming and gun attacks since October, Israel has been braced for an escalation. 

In the last half year, Palestinian attacks have killed 28 Israelis and two visiting U.S. citizens. Israeli forces have killed at least 191 Palestinians, 130 of whom Israel says were assailants. Many others were shot dead in clashes and protests. 

Factors driving the violence include Palestinian bitterness over stalled statehood negotiations and the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, increased Jewish access to a disputed Jerusalem shrine and Islamist-led calls for Israel's destruction.