Police seal family home of terrorist who rammed Ramot bus stop, killing three

Authorities unable to seal rented apartment of attacker Hussein Qaraqa, instead weld shut parents’ East Jerusalem property

An IDF soldier welds a door shut, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, February 12, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
An IDF soldier welds a door shut, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, February 12, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Police in the early hours of Sunday morning sealed the family home of a terrorist who plowed his car into a group of people in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood two days earlier, killing three.

Hussein Qaraqa, who was shot dead at the scene of the attack, was a resident of Issawiya in East Jerusalem. However, due to his apartment being a rental, police sealed his parents’ home in A-Tur, also in East Jerusalem.

As a matter of policy, Israel regularly demolishes or permanently seals the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks.

When sealing a property, police weld the doors and windows shut ahead of a potential full demolition. In rare cases that the High Court accepts the family’s appeals, the sealing can be reversed.

“In the hours after the attack, acquaintances and family of the attacker were arrested and questioned over their involvement and knowledge regarding the attack,” police said in a statement on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses to Friday’s attack said Qaraqa accelerated into a group of Israelis waiting at a bus stop. A senior Israeli official said it was believed he was mentally ill, and that he had been released from a psychiatric hospital in northern Israel only days before.

Yaakov Yisrael Paley, 6, his brother Asher Menahem Paley, 8, and Alter Shlomo Lederman, a 20-year-old yeshiva student who had gotten married two months ago, were killed in the attack.

The cabinet, in response to a string of deadly terror attacks, is set to meet on Sunday to weigh a series of new steps aimed at preventing additional bloodshed.

Channel 12 news reported that these could entail seizing money and assets belonging to terror operatives’ families, placing barriers at bus stops in the capital to protect passengers from ramming attacks, combating online incitement, and increasing security checkpoints and patrols between Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

Funerals were held for Asher Menahem Paley and for Lederman on Saturday night in the capital’s Har HaMenuchot Cemetery. Yaakov Yisrael Paley was buried on Friday, before the beginning of Shabbat.

Brothers Yaakov Yisrael Paley, 6 (right) and Asher Menahem Paley, 8, killed in a deadly car-ramming terror attack near Ramot Junction in Jerusalem on February 10, 2023. (Twitter)

Qaraqa’s Facebook page included posts hailing attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. In a post last August, Qaraqa hailed the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziad Nakhaleh.

In a more recent post last December, Qaraqa memorialized the members of the northern West Bank’s Lions Den after several were killed in an IDF operation. Lion’s Den has been responsible for numerous shooting attacks beyond the Green Line over the past year.

Qaraqa also published many posts glorifying attacks and wrote, “Glory to the pure souls” in reference to attackers.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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