The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of suspected terrorist Sanad al-Turman by eight days on Sunday, a week and a half after he allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack that injured a dozen soldiers in the capital.
It was the second time his remand was extended since the suspected attack.
In the predawn hours of February 6, Turman rammed his car into a group of Golani soldiers standing on Jerusalem’s David Remez Street outside the First Station, a popular entertainment hub in the capital, injuring 12 of them, one of them seriously.
According to the army, the soldiers were members of the Golani Brigade who were at the First Station during a “heritage tour” ahead of an early morning swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall.
Turman’s family has consistently maintained that what happened was not a terror attack but rather a traffic incident caused when Turman accidentally mounted the sidewalk in his vehicle.
After the attack, Turman quickly fled the scene, abandoning his car in the West Bank town of Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem. He was arrested at the Gush Etzion Junction in the central West Bank on February 6. The Shin Bet said he was a 25-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur who had no history of terrorist activity.
“He caused an accident, got scared and fled. He didn’t mean for it to happen,” the brother said during his first court appearance, an argument that Turman’s attorney repeated on Sunday.
Security officials have strongly denied such claims, saying that Turman broke through a roadblock while fleeing and that soldiers at the scene of the attack did not draw their weapons so he would not have felt in danger.
In addition, the officials told the Kan public broadcaster, Turman did not appear to have been on his way to turn himself in at the time of his arrest.
According to security officials, Turman had made several Facebook posts possibly signaling his intentions, writing in one update: “I’ve found my answers,” and in another: “Whoever seeks peace with the enemy is living under an illusion. Never surrender.”
The incident came amid a rise in tensions following the release of US President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On the same day as the car-ramming, an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a shooting attack along a highway near the central West Bank settlement of Dolev and a Border Police officer was lightly wounded when a terrorist opened fire at him near the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The previous day, the Hamas terror group called on Palestinians to step up confrontations with Israel after Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager, who the IDF said threw a Molotov cocktail at troops during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“We call for escalating confrontations with the occupation and its settlers and fighting their assaults against the land and holy sites, especially the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Hamas said in a statement posted on its official website, referring to the name Palestinians use to refer to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has frequently encouraged Palestinians in the West Bank to clash with Israeli security forces and settlers.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.