Belgian Media Reports Shooting Suspect Arrested

May 27, 2014  

Belgian news media reported on Tuesday that the local police have arrested a suspect in the shooting incident on Saturday, in which four people were killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

The arrest, reported by Belgian VTM NEWS, could possibly lead to clarification in the case which has been labelled a “terrorist assassination.” It remains unclear whether the arrested suspect is the man seen shooting into the museum on security footage.

Four were killed in the attack, including Tel Aviv natives Miriam and Emmanuel Riva, a French woman who did volunteer work at the museum and a 24-year-old Belgian museum employee.

The bodies of the two Israelis were flown to Israel on Tuesday for burial. Hundreds of family members of friends accompanied the Rivas to the cemetery in Kiryat Shaul, Tel Aviv.

French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo visited the museum in Brussels on Tuesday, meeting with Jewish leaders and bowing their heads as a local rabbi recited a prayer, reports AFP.

The three were in the city to attend an informal European Union (EU) summit. They were joined by European Parliament speaker Martin Schulz.

An additional lead in the investigation was revealed on Tuesday, as Belgian authorities reportedly suspect the attack may have links to the Iranian-proxy terrorist organization Hezbollah. The date of the shooting, May 24, was linked to the date of the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.

Other theories have been presented, either explaining the murder as simple anti-Semitic violence, or else as an attack staged to awaken xenophobic elements within broader European society.

As a result of the attack Belgian authorities increased security in the Jewish community in Brussels.

“It’s hard to forget your laughs”

At the funeral of Miriam and Emmanuel Riva in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, who knew Emmanuel personally, eulogized the murdered man.

“He did his work professionally and with self-sacrifice. I have no doubt that the wider members of his family that I met will know how to take care of the two daughters, Shira and Ayelet,” said Aharonovich, mentioning the now orphaned children.

Shira, the daughter of the two, said in tears “dad and mom, where to start? I don’t believe that this awful thing happened to you. Mom, you were a wonderful person, loving, the best a daughter could ask for.”

“There were so many things that I wanted to show you,” said Ayelet. “How I would direct a school, have a family, and most of all grow up. I love you. It’s hard to forget your laughs, your souls, your love.”

The Belgian Ambassador to Israel, John Cornet, was present at the funeral, as promised his country “would save no means to catch the horrible murderer. This is a day of mourning for both our countries, which we share.”

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