Pushing back on hesitation claim, IDF reportedly finds troop killed truck-rammer
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Pushing back on hesitation claim, IDF reportedly finds troop killed truck-rammer

Forensic analysis indicates terrorist in fatal Jerusalem truck attack died from army-issued bullet found in his head

Eitan Rund speaking to reporters from Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017. (screen capture: Channel 2)
Eitan Rund speaking to reporters from Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017. (screen capture: Channel 2)

An East Jerusalem man who killed four soldiers in a truck-ramming terror attack last week in southern Jerusalem was fatally shot by soldiers, a senior military official reportedly said in comments published Monday.

According to the report in Yedioth Ahronoth, a forensic analysis found that both a civilian tour guide and at least one soldier fired at truck driver Fadi al-Qunbar during the attack.

The tour guide, Eytan Rund, had complained in the immediate aftermath of the attack that soldiers had hesitated to open fire, linking it to fears of judicial action against them.

“I have to ask why it took a 30-year-old civilian to fire first,” he told Israeli television, “when there were well-armed officers” present.

Rund also insisted the January 4 manslaughter verdict for Sgt. Elor Azaria, who killed a disarmed, injured Palestinian assailant, was “definitely” a factor in the ostensible hesitation, leading many to lament that an “Azaria effect” caused the soldiers’ alleged failure to act.

Following the attack, Qunbar’s body was brought to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute for examination, where an initial autopsy showed that he had both 5.56 millimeter bullets fired from an army-issued M16 and nine millimeter bullets fired from Rund’s pistol in his body, the senior military official revealed to Yedioth on Monday.

The scene where a truck rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing at least four in a vehicle-ramming attack, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The scene where a truck rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing at least four in a vehicle-ramming attack, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The forensic analysis found that Qunbar was killed by a 5.56 millimeter bullet found in his head and not by one of the nine millimeter bullets found in his body, indicating that it was one of the soldiers who killed the attacker.

The findings of the forensic analysis further support an army investigation’s findings from the day after the attack that seven people had shot at Qunbar, including five cadets and officer Maya Peled.

The army also said the day after attack there was no connection between the soldiers’ response to the truck-ramming and the recent Hebron shooting case involving Azaria, a stance it continues to maintain.

“I hope the results of the police investigation will put an end to this sad affair,” the senior military official said, though he noted more needs to be done “to refute the false and evil theory” that the Azaria conviction has led soldiers to fail to act.

A composite photo of the four Israeli soldiers killed when a terrorist rammed his truck into a group of cadets on January 8, 2017 in Jerusalem. Clockwise from left, IDF Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel, IDF Cadet Shir Hajaj, IDF Cadet Erez Orbach, IDF Cadet Shira Tzur. (Handout photos from IDF spokesperson)
A composite photo of the four Israeli soldiers killed when a terrorist rammed his truck into a group of cadets on January 8, 2017 in Jerusalem. Clockwise from left, IDF Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel, IDF Cadet Shir Hajaj, IDF Cadet Erez Orbach, IDF Cadet Shira Tzur. (Handout photos from IDF spokesperson)

Editor’s note: This story has been amended for clarification purposes.

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