The Palestinian terrorist who drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem on Wednesday night was the nephew of a top Hamas commander, and had posted multiple messages on the internet supporting Hamas and Palestinian terror groups, including suicide attackers.
Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, 21, used his Facebook account to share pictures, videos, and links to websites that identify with Hamas, as well as making repeated calls for the defense of Al-Aqsa, the mosque that stands atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Ynet reported on Thursday.
According to Palestinian media, his uncle was Mohiyedine Sharif, a master bomb-maker for Hamas who was assassinated in 1998, apparently during internal conflicts between Palestinian militias.
In his last post from a week and a half ago, Shaludi shared a video of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, during training. A caption with the clip carried the message, “See how the suicide members of the Qassam brigades train.”
A day before that he posted a picture of the Al-Aqsa mosque with a caption declaring “Al-Aqsa is in danger,” to which he added his own comment: “Go forth on a march to Al-Aqsa, good morning.”
Other posts included video clips of Israeli border police clashing with rioters on the Temple Mount, to which he added the message, “God of the universe, protect your house.”
He also called for the release of Arab prisoners held in Israel prisons and shared purported footage of Hamas operatives battling IDF soldiers in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge this summer.
Palestinian media reported that Shaludi was released from Israeli prison in December 2013 after spending 16 months behind bars. He was rearrested in February 2014, apparently on charges of public disturbance, and released a month later.
On Wednesday Shaludi, who was from Silwan in East Jerusalem, drove his car into a group of pedestrians waiting at a light rail stop in the north-east of the capital, killing three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun and injuring eight others. Shaludi was shot by security guards as he tried to make an escape on foot and later died of his wounds in the hospital.
The capital, and the city’s light rail train system in particular, has faced disruptions and riots for months, especially since the brutal killing of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir in early July — allegedly by Jewish extremists avenging the killings of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank a month earlier.