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Thousands Mourn Victims of Jerusalem School Shooting


Thousands of Israelis have attended funerals in Jerusalem for eight students killed by a Palestinian gunman at a Jewish seminary.

Thursday's shooting at the religious school in west Jerusalem was the deadliest terrorist attack on Israelis in two years. Seven of those killed were teenagers aged 15 to 19, including one American citizen; the eighth student was in his 20s.

Israeli authorities identified the gunman as a 25-year-old Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem, and arrested several of his relatives in the city.

Israeli security forces tightened travel restrictions on West Bank Palestinians Friday, based on suspicions that the gunman got help from militants in the West Bank.

Hamas praised the attack, calling it revenge for Israel's recent offensive against militants in the Gaza Strip, but stopped short of claiming responsibility.

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the attack Thursday. A White House spokesman called the celebrations "fairly disgusting."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President Bush and other world leaders have condemned the Jerusalem school shooting.

The White House urged Israel and the Palestinians to continue peace talks despite the attack. Reports quote unnamed Israeli officials as saying the government will maintain its policy of talking with the moderate Palestinian government in the West Bank.

The gunman's relatives say he was not a member of any militant group, but was angered by the deaths of more than 120 Palestinians during recent fighting between Israeli troops and militants in Gaza.

Israel's Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Friday that Arab residents of east Jerusalem who take part in militant activity should be expelled to the West Bank.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.