Security cabinet orders arrests, closure of Jerusalem terrorist’s village
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Security cabinet orders arrests, closure of Jerusalem terrorist’s village

After truck-ramming attack which killed four, police increase presence in Jabel Mukaber, ministers call to destroy family home as soon as possible

An Israeli forensics expert gathers evidence as security forces and emergency personnel gather at the site of a vehicle-ramming attack in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017. (AFP/ MENAHEM KAHANA)
An Israeli forensics expert gathers evidence as security forces and emergency personnel gather at the site of a vehicle-ramming attack in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017. (AFP/ MENAHEM KAHANA)

In response to Sunday’s truck-ramming terror attack, the security cabinet decided late Sunday on a series of measures intended to deter new Palestinian attacks.

After convening Sunday night at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, the committee of 10 ministers voted to deny the release of the terrorist’s body to his family, in order to prevent the family from holding a public funeral at which his actions would be celebrated.

Fadi al-Qunbar, 28, a father of four from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, rammed his truck into a group of IDF soldiers touring the Jerusalem’s Haas Promenade in the city’s south.

Among the responses chosen by the ministers, the Qunbar family home will be destroyed at the earliest possible time — limited only by possible court appeals available to the family.

A relative shows a mobile phone photo of Fadi Qunbar, 28, outside his home in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. Qunbar was identified as the terrorist who drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four and wounding 16 others (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
A relative shows a mobile phone photo of Fadi Qunbar, 28, outside his home in Jerusalem, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. Qunbar was identified as the terrorist who drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four and wounding 16 others (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Standing family — unification requests by members of the Qunbar family to allow relatives from Gaza to come live with them in Jerusalem will be denied.

The neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, from which multiple terror attacks have originated over the past year, has been encircled by security forces, who placed a cordon on the village and begun carrying out security checks for anyone leaving the area toward other parts of Jerusalem.

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)

The cabinet also ordered the 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.

It also gave permission for security agencies to place anyone who expresses support for Islamic State, as Qunbar reportedly did, in administrative detention, a controversial counter-terror measure that allows the indefinite detention of terror suspects without trial.

Nine people were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the attack, including five family members of the terrorist. Police carried out multiple raids into Jabel Mukaber in the afternoon and evening hours.

Palestinian media reported that Qunbar was affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a secular terror group, but Qunbar’s family insisted he was “religious,” and Israeli intelligence believes he supported the Islamic State jihadist group.

The four soldiers who were killed in the attack were named on Sunday evening: Yael Yekutiel, 20, Shir Hajaj, 22, Shira Tzur, 20, and Erez Orbach, 20. All will be buried on Monday at military cemeteries around the country. Sixteen more people were injured, two of them very seriously.

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