Public security minister: Israel won’t return terrorist’s body
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Public security minister: Israel won’t return terrorist’s body

Gilad Erdan says driver who killed 4 in truck-ramming attack to be buried secretly, without family, by security forces

The scene where a truck rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing at least four in a vehicle-ramming attack, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.  (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The scene where a truck rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing at least four in a vehicle-ramming attack, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed Israel would never return the body of the terrorist who carried out the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on Sunday.

“This was an atrocious, painful and especially serious attack which could lead to other copycat attacks,” Erdan said. “We will not allow this vile terrorist or his family to hold a funeral where he is treated with honor, encouraging other attacks.

“His body will be buried but only by the security forces and in a place to which the family and his supporters will not have access.”

The attacker was identified in media as Fadi al-Qunbar. According to reports, he spent time in an Israeli prison and worked in construction.

Fadi al-Qanbar, named as the terrorist who plowed a truck into Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Fadi al-Qanbar, named as the terrorist who plowed a truck into Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017 (Channel 2 screenshot)

Construction Minister Yoav Galant, told Army Radio that Israel must deal harshly with the terrorist and his family. “The price must be demolishing homes, expelling families – even if they are Israeli citizens,” he said, “and revoking citizenship of anyone who is connected to this incident.”

A group of soldiers were getting off a bus at the promenade, a popular tourist spot in southern Jerusalem, when al-Qunbar drove a large flatbed truck into them.

The four soldiers killed — three women and one man — were in their 20s, the Magen David Adom rescue service said. Sixteen more people were injured, two of them very seriously.

A composite image of the four Israeli soldiers killed on January 8, 2017 in a truck-ramming terror attack in Jerusalem. From left, IDF Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel, IDF Cadet Shir Hajaj, IDF Cadet Shira Tzur, IDF Cadet Erez Orbach. (Handout photos IDF Spokesperson)
A composite image of the four Israeli soldiers killed on January 8, 2017 in a truck-ramming terror attack in Jerusalem. From left, IDF Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel, IDF Cadet Shir Hajaj, IDF Cadet Shira Tzur, IDF Cadet Erez Orbach. (Handout photos IDF Spokesperson)

According to police, the driver accelerated as he struck the group.

After the driver hit the soldiers with his truck, he put the vehicle into reverse and began to run over them a second time.

The terrorist was shot by soldiers and a civilian tour guide, police said. He died of his wounds.

In May, Erdan called for a freeze on returning the bodies of Palestinian terrorists from East Jerusalem to their families. Police said they feared the funerals for the deceased attackers, killed as they stabbed, shot or rammed Israelis with cars over the previous seven months, would turn into mass rallies in support of further terror attacks.

Last week, the security cabinet decided that Israel would no longer give up the bodies of Hamas terrorists killed during attacks, but instead bury them, in a bid to pressure the Palestinian group into returning two Israeli civilians and the remains of two soldiers kept hostage in Gaza.

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