An Israeli court released the sister and father of the terrorist who rammed his truck into a group of soldiers on Sunday, while extending the remand for several other family members.
On Monday, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court released Ahmad and Shaida al-Qunbar, the father and sister of Fadi al-Qunbar, who killed four soldiers and wounded 16 by ramming his truck into troops getting off a bus at a popular tourist site in Jerusalem.
Judge Sharon Lary-Bavly ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to keep the two in custody, and released them under restrictive conditions.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan lashed out at the judge for releasing the Qunbar’s sister.
“This is an extremely bad decision of the court,” he tweeted. “It is simply unbelievable that the court does not see incitement and support for the awful terror attack in [what she said]. This entire wave of terror is based on the support for murder and terror and praise of murderers. It is sad that judges do not understand this and harm the struggle [against terror].”
Police were shocked at the release of Shaida al-Qunbar, Ynet news reported, claiming that they had not yet had time to collect evidence.
Shaida was accused of incitement when she spoke to a journalist immediately after the terror attack, telling him that she was happy her brother became a martyr.
“Although the defendant answered ‘praise God’ when asked about the attack,” the judge ruled, “it was not incitement, but a religious expression which did not express support for her brother’s actions.”
The remand of five suspects — brothers Hamza, 31, and Muhammad, 28, cousin Muhammad, 30, and two residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, where Qunbar lived — was extended 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.
Police are considering charges of conspiracy to carry out a terror attack, after they were said to have evidence that Qunbar identified with the Islamic State terrorist group, Channel 2 reported.