The Palestinian terrorist who went on a shooting spree in Jerusalem Sunday morning, killing two people, was supposed to have turned himself in to prison at that precise time, Ma’an news reported.
He was identified as a 39-year-old from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
His name was put under a gag order by police.
In 2013, the gunman was indicted for assaulting a police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City. The case was dropped that year, but it was reopened in 2015.
The East Jerusalem resident was convicted and sentenced to four months in prison, beginning in October 2016.
In an interview with Ma’an news on Saturday, the terrorist said he planned to arrive at Ramle prison in central Israel at 10 a.m. on Sunday — the same time his deadly shooting spree began.
He had apparently been threatened with an open-ended administrative detention — imprisonment without trial — if he failed to appear at the prison, according to Ma’an news.
He was apparently well known to police. He had been picked up and released five times over the past two weeks and banned from entering East Jerusalem for one month, he told Ma’an news.
The gunman had previously served time in an Israeli prison, from July to December 2015, for charges of incitement.
Israel’s Channel 10 said that the attacker was recently indicted on 15 counts of incitement to violence, and seven counts of supporting a terror organization for posts on Facebook.
In a video (below) shot at a party welcoming him home from prison, some revelers can be seen waving flags of the Hamas terrorist group.
Hamas claimed he was a member of the organization after his deadly attack.
He was also apparently connected to the Murabitun group, an Islamic Movement organization that hassles non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
A statement from a Hamas spokesman said the terror attack was “heroic,” “brave” and a “natural response to the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people and the Al-Aqsa mosque.”
The Palestinian Authority said the attacker’s brother was known to the Israeli security establishment, and was arrested in the Old City on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, the gunman opened fire at a group of people waiting at a light rail stop on Haim Bar-Lev Street, hitting one woman before speeding off toward Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau Street where he shot and fatally wounded another woman, 60, who was in her car.
After opening fire on civilians twice, the assailant continued toward the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where he was killed in a shootout with police.
A police officer, approximately 30 years old, was fatally wounded in a shootout with the assailant, police said.
The woman shot in her car and a police officer involved in the shootout later succumbed to their injuries, a hospital spokesperson said.
Three other victims were moderately wounded, while another two were lightly injured in the attack, according to the Magen David Adom emergency medical service.