Twelve relatives of the Palestinian man who killed four soldiers in a terror attack on Sunday were summoned to the Interior Ministry Tuesday to begin the process of revoking their Israeli residency.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided Monday evening to revoke residency from the mother and 11 other relatives of Fadi al-Qunbar, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber who plowed a truck into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Manwa al-Qunbar will lose her residency and social benefits in a move previously unsought by the Israeli government, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Tuesday morning. It was not immediately clear who the 11 other relatives were.
Deri made the decision after consulting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, officials from the Shin Bet domestic security agency, and officials from the Population and Immigration Authority.
“We must fight with all our strength and by any deterrent means in order to prevent the next terror attack,” Deri said. “From now on terrorists considering an attack will know that their families will pay a price for their actions.”
The Shas party leader and interior minister told Army Radio in an interview Tuesday that Qunbar, “an Israeli resident with an Israeli ID card, got into the truck and saw soldiers and decided to run them over and imitate what happened in Berlin and Nice — this is a phenomenon that we need to deal with.”
On Monday, the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom reported that a relative of Qunbar saw him incensed after hearing a sermon at his local East Jerusalem mosque on Friday excoriating US President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday blamed the Palestinian leadership for inciting to violence, which he said was the direct cause of the attack. “We have no intention to waver from the decisions we’ve made and I hope that we’ll exact a toll on the other party for all this incitement,” he said.
Qunbar was shot dead at the scene of the attack, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of the capital.
The funerals of the four soldiers killed in the truck-ramming — Lt. Yael Yekutiel, 20, of Givatayim, Lt. Shir Hajaj, 22, of Ma’ale Adumim, 2nd Lt. Erez Orbach, 20, of Alon Shvut, and 2nd Lt. Shira Tzur, 20, of Haifa — took place in quick succession on Monday.