Israeli troops rounded up five members of the Hamas terror group in raids across the West Bank late Sunday and early Monday, a day after officials vowed to crack down on terror in the wake of a deadly attack in Jerusalem.
Three Hamas members in Jenin were arrested and another two in the al-Aroub refugee camp south of Jerusalem, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
On Sunday, an East Jerusalem man drove his truck into a group of soldiers at the Armon Hanatziv promenade overlooking the capital. Three officers cadets and one officer was killed and another 16 soldiers were injured in the attack.
The driver, named in media as Fadi al-Qunbar, 28, was shot dead at the scene as he attempted to run over more troops.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hamas was quick to praise the action, calling it “heroic” and calling for more like it.
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.
After the attack, the high-level security cabinet ordered 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.
Ministers 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.
The army did not say what the five Hamas members were suspected of or if they were linked to the attack or praise for the attack in some way. Their identities were not given.
Troops operating overnight also arrested six suspects wanted for low-level terror attacks. In the village of Beit Fajar, south of Jerusalem, a makeshift gun was found and confiscated, the IDF said.
Security forces have also taken a number of preventative or punitive measures in the wake of the attack, including placing a cordon around Qunbar’s neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, from which multiple terror attacks have originated over the past year, and carrying out security checks for anyone leaving the area toward other parts of Jerusalem.
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.
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