TEL AVIV – The parents of the Jerusalem bus bomber said they were shocked to learn that their son was both involved with the Hamas terror organization and the perpetrator of “such an act” against innocent people. Nevertheless, they said, Israel and the Jews were ultimately to blame.
19-year-old Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, who died after blowing up a bus on April 18, injuring 21 people and setting fire to another bus and car in the process, was raised, according to his parents, in an affluent home that respected manners and denounced violence.
Speaking to Israeli news site Walla, the Palestinian’s mother and father said they “still can’t wrap their heads around” the fact that their son was involved with Hamas and blew up a bus. Hamas released a video of Abu Srour sporting Hamas’ uniform and headband. 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.”
“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.”
Muhammad continued, “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.”
He added that his son’s actions are in keeping with the attitude of young Palestinians who do “whatever [they] feel like.” For this too, Israel is to blame.
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, who teaches Arabic at a school in Bethlehem and was described by Walla as being dressed in modern clothes with no head-covering, defended the suicide bombing, calling it “an act of self-defense.”
“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,” she said.
After being reminded that even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had condemned her son’s action, Um Ahmed insisted that he “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?”
Um Ahmed’s statement about Netanyahu is incorrect. The prime minister categorically denounced the soldier’s action in shooting and killing an already-neutralized terrorist.
The bus attack was the first suicide bombing in the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism that has mostly involved car-ramming and stabbing attacks since it began in October 2015.