Israel detains 5 relatives of Palestinian responsible for deadly Jerusalem truck attack

Police arrest attacker’s family members in raid of east Jerusalem neighbourhood and stop relativse from erecting traditional mourning tent or receiving visitors

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Israeli police have raided an east Jerusalem neighbourhood and arrested several members of the family of Fadi Ahmad Hamdan al-Qunbar, the Palestinian who drove a truck into a group of soldiers, killing four people. 

Sunday’s attack at the busy Armon Hanatziv promenade in Talpiyyot killed four young Israel Defence Force (IDF) cadets and injured a further 13, one of who remains in critical condition. Al-Qunbar was shot and killed at the scene. 

Overnight, nine people were arrested in Jabal al-Mukabbir neighbourhood, including at least five members of the dead attacker’s family, and on Monday concrete slabs were erected to block entrances and check vehicles driving in and out of the area. 

Police said the operation was hindered by rocks and fireworks being thrown at officers. 

Palestinian outlet Ma’an News reported that the family’s homes were “ransacked” during the police investigation and at least five relatives arrested. Pictures showed the contents of drawers and cupboards overturned. 

The assailant’s sister criticised the raids, saying that 12 female members of the family were detained and interrogated for hours, and will be summoned for further questioning. 

His wife, parents and two brothers were arrested, Ma'an said. One of Al-Qunbar’s sisters-in-law was detained because her husband - Al-Qunbar’s brother - was not at home, the woman identified as ‘Shadia’ said. 

The family found out about the attack after seeing footage of it on television news, she added.

In an interview with Palestinian Quds News, Shadia said she was thankful for her brother's "most beautiful martyrdom.”

CCTV footage of Jerusalem attack shows truck hit soldiers

She denied that her brother had links to Isis, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to reporters there may be a link to recent similar attacks using vehicles in Nice and Berlin. 

While Gaza-based militant organisation Hamas praised the attack, they stopped short of claiming responsibility. 

The attacker's relatives were not allowed to erect the traditional mourning tent in which to receiver visitors, Haaretz reported. 

Al-Qunbar’s home, as well as that of his brother and parents were searched, Israeli police confirmed. 

Funerals of the victims of Sunday’s attack took place on Monday.

The army had to deny reports that some 300 cadets fled following the incident fearing repercussions for their actions because of last week’s controversial manslaughter ruling handed down against a soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian last year. 

The IDF said that the recruits were following orders after the assailant had already been shot.