A man from the predominantly Bedouin southern city of Rahat has been arrested for posting a video on his Facebook page that called for people to carry out car-ramming attacks, police said in a statement Wednesday.
The video featured footage from Sunday’s terror attack, in which an East Jerusalem man drove his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, backed up and ran over them again, killing four and injuring dozens.
In the background of the video a voice, speaking in Arabic, encouraged people to carry out similar attacks.
Police said the suspect, a 30-year-old Rahat resident, was first detained on Tuesday, and would remain in jail until at least January 15.
“While protecting free speech, we cannot allow incitement and threats on Facebook,” the statement said.
Earlier in the week, police arrested four residents of the Old City in Jerusalem for spray-painting graffiti praising Fadi al-Qunbar, the driver in Sunday’s attack.
The graffiti found sprayed across shopfronts in the Muslim Quarter the night after the attack praised Qunbar, and declared his truck-ramming was an act of “resistance, not terror.”
Also found written in Hebrew was the statement: “Yesterday’s attack is the beginning of 2017.”
The vandalism suspects, whose ages range from 13 to 20 years old, were arrested after police uncovered cans of spray paint during a search of their homes, a police spokeswoman said.
The 13-year-old has since been released to house arrest, while the rest of the suspects will remain in police custody until the completion of the investigation, after which they will be brought before a court, the spokeswoman added.
After the attack, the high-level security cabinet ordered security services to detain and investigate anyone found praising or celebrating the attack, after claims surfaced that some residents of East Jerusalem cheered and distributed sweets to passersby after the attack.
Nine people were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the attack, including five members of Qunbar’s family.
On Monday, a Jerusalem judge ordered Qunbar’s father and sister released — with the latter having praised her brother as a “martyr” immediately after the attack — citing a lack of evidence to justify their continued detention.
However, the court on Monday did extend the remand of five suspects — brothers Hamza, 31, and Muhammad, 28, cousin Muhammad, 30, and two other residents of Jabel Mukaber — for a further seven days on suspicion that they knew in advance about Qunbar’s plan to carry out the attack and did nothing to prevent it.
A previously unknown Palestinian group calling itself “the martyr of Baha Alyan collective” claimed responsibility on Monday for the truck-ramming, saying in a statement online that the attack was not the first carried out by a member — without providing details — and will be followed by “a torrent of unyielding quality attacks in defense of our Jerusalem and in revenge of our martyrs and prisoners.”
The group is named after Baha Alyan, who along with Bilal Abu Ghanem, killed three Israelis on a bus in Jerusalem in 2015. He was later killed by security forces.
Like Qunbar, both Alyan and Ghanem were residents of Jabel Mukaber.