The father of the driver of a truck that plowed into group of soldiers Sunday on a promenade in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem, killing four people and injuring 16 others, was arrested by Israeli security forces just after hours after the attack, Palestinian reports said.
Earlier, Hebrew media had reported that a large number of heavily armed Border Police officers had surrounded the terrorist’s house in the Jabel Mukabar neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said there was “no prior warning” of what he labeled a vehicular terror attack.
He added that the driver sought a high victim count and had driven around the area in Armon Hanatziv to find a large group of people before plowing his truck into the group of soldiers.
Alsheich also said the terrorist was a resident of East Jerusalem.
Palestinian media reports named him as Fadi al-Qanbar, 28, from the nearby neighborhood of Jabel Mukabar. Channel 2 said he was in his 20s, married with four children, and had served time in Israeli prison.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades — Hamas’ military wing — praised it as “heroic,” with the group’s spokesperson Hazaem Qassem writing on Facebook that “the continuous operations in the West Bank and Jerusalem prove that the Jerusalem Intifada is not an isolated event, but rather a decision by the Palestinian people to revolt until they attain their freedom and liberation from the Israeli occupation.”
He also added that “these operations demonstrate that all attempts to bypass the resistance or to thwart it will fail every time.”
Hamas also said that al-Qanbar had previously been imprisoned in Israel, although it did not provide any specifics for why he was imprisoned or when he was released.
A group of soldiers were getting off a bus at the promenade, a popular tourist spot in southern Jerusalem, when al-Qanbar drove a large flatbed truck into them.
The four soldiers — three women and one man — who were killed were in their 20s, the Magen David Adom rescue service said. Sixteen more people were injured, two of them very seriously.
According to police, the driver accelerated as he struck the group.
After the driver hit the soldiers with his truck, he put the vehicle in reverse and ran over them a second time.
The terrorist was shot by soldiers and a civilian guide, police said. He died of his wounds.
Judah Ari Gross and Dov Lieber contributed to this report.