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Published On: Mon, Jan 9th, 2017

4 Israeli soldiers, 1 Palestinian killed as truck plows through crowd in Jerusalem

IMEMC : A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers after driving a truck through a crowd of Israeli soldiers on a street in Jerusalem. Four soldiers were killed, and 15 others injured, when they were hit by the truck.

fadi-al-qanbar_palestine_jerusalem_jan-2017The driver, who was killed by multiple gunshot wounds to the head, was identified as Fadi al-Qanbar, 20, a former political prisoner, from Jabal Mukaber in East Jerusalem.

The four Israelis who were killed in the incident have been identified as Yael Yekutiel, 20, from Givataiym east of Tel Aviv, Shir Hajaj, 22, from Ma’ale Adumim colony in the occupied West Bank, Shira Tzur, 20, from Haifa, and Erez Orbach, 20, from Alon Shvut colony, southwest of occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, said Hajaj was a commander in the Israel army officer’s course, while the rest were cadets in the same course, and that Tzur and Orbach were also American citizens.

A video of the incident that was released to the media shows a group of soldiers standing in a crowd in an area that was recently annexed by the Jerusalem municipality from its original Palestinian owners, when a truck driven at high speed plows through the crowd, then turns around and drives back through the same location again, killing four.

Three of the soldiers killed were women, and one was a man. The video shows soldiers scrambling for cover as the truck turns around. An Israeli bus driver who had been driving the soldiers on a tour of East Jerusalem told the Daily Mail that he “emptied his entire magazine” into the windshield of the truck. Several others also fired, killing the Palestinian driver. At least a dozen bullet holes can be seen in photos of the windshield of the truck.

An Israeli police spokesperson told Israeli Army radio that the ramming would be classified as a ‘terrorist attack’.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu claimed that the Palestinian driver was a supporter of Da’esh (Daesh), known in English by the acronym ‘ISIS’ (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). But there has been no evidence presented showing that link, or any connection at all between the young Palestinian and any armed group or faction.

Although the identity of the driver has not yet been released, Israeli police report that he was a resident of East Jerusalem. Israeli police have detained nine of the man’s relatives, according to Israeli media.

jerusalem-truck-attack-victims_palestien_idf-soldiers_jan-2017In addition, in a meeting of the Israeli Security Cabinet following the attack, the Israeli government decided to demolish the man’s home, in an act which human rights groups have termed ‘collective punishment’. Israel is the only country that routinely demolishes the homes of the family members of someone who has committed a crime – essentially punishing every family member, including children, for the action of one individual.

The Security Cabinet also decided to order the military to carry out an aggressive campaign across the West Bank and Jerusalem to search out any Palestinian that has expressed support for or admiration of Da’esh, even if they have never engaged in any crime or attack.

In addition, the military was ordered to blockade the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood, next to the site of the attack. The neighborhood is one of several in East Jerusalem that was marked for annexation by Israeli authorities as part of the ‘E1’ plan to rid East Jerusalem of its indigenous Palestinian inhabitants and transfer Jewish Israelis into the area.

This past August, Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan announced a wide scale Israeli police presence and surveillance apparatus for Jabal Mukaber and other targeted Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. He made clear that the reason for the increase in police and surveillance was the takeover of the area for the Jewish state, stating, “Our national sovereignty begins by exercising our sovereignty over Jerusalem”.

IMEMC

About the Author

- The International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC , is an independent Palestinian news agency specialized in reporting on Palestinian domestic politics, foreign policy and the Palestine - Israel conflict in English language. The work of IMEMC is particularly valuable, because it is reporting on the daily events, related to the occupation of Palestine, which are otherwise only available in Arabic language. IMEMC contributor and editor Saed Bannora, born 1973 in Palestine, is a prolific Palestinian journalist. After having been shot multiple times by an Israeli death squad, Saed Bannoura is confined to using a wheelchair. Saed Bannoura is a tireless activist for Palestinians rights. His work and the work of his colleagues at t IMEMC is a valuable contribution for readers of nsnbc ìnternational. IMEMC´s website is located at www.imemc.org

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  1. 3 young girls and a young boy. How can anyone believe to attract any sympathy, while smashing with track such kids? Our minister of foreign affairs is now visiting Palestinian territory paying tribute to Jasser Arafat, while we witnessed the same sort of Islamic terror around here.

    • Gary says:

      It’s a small price to pay for the amount of killing and terrorism Israel perpetrates on a virtually unarmed Palestinian populace.

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