Security forces on Monday arrested the teenage daughter of a Palestinian gunman who killed two Israelis in a Jerusalem shooting a day earlier, after she praised her father’s actions on Facebook.
The 14-year-old girl was held and questioned with her mother for more than an hour Monday morning before being taken into custody, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
Prior to the arrest, a video of the teen praising her father went viral on Facebook.
“We deem my father as martyr,” the girl said in the video, according to Ma’an. “We hope he will plead for us before God on judgment day. … I am proud of what my father did.
“We’re very happy and proud of our father,” she also said. “My father is a great man. Our relationship, as father and daughter, was excellent.”
The video of the daughter’s comments could not be published as she could be identified in it, which would violate a court-issued gag order.
On Sunday morning, the 39-year-old gunman drove past police headquarters near Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill and opened fire at a group of people standing near the light rail station, hitting one woman. He continued on his spree, shooting and fatally wounding Levana Malihi, 60, who had been driving in her car, before police officers on motorcycles managed to shoot him dead after a short gun battle. One officer, First Sergeant Yosef Kirma, 29, was fatally injured and another moderately hurt in the shootout.
The gunman had been expected to report to an Israeli prison on Sunday, to serve a four-month sentence for assaulting a police officer in 2013.
He was reportedly known to Israel Police as a suspected terrorist and member of Hamas for several years. He previously spent a year in jail for incitement in Facebook posts.
The Gaza-based Hamas terror organization claimed the gunman as one of its operatives and praised his “operation.”
Photos showed Hamas supporters handing out candy and baklava to celebrate the attacker’s “martyrdom.” Candy in his honor also was handed out in East Jerusalem. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party also announced a day of mourning in his memory.
An Israeli soldier was injured early Monday morning when a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem threw an explosive device at troops measuring the family home located in the al-Ram neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem for demolition. Crowds had gathered outside the home to celebrate his act, and 31 people were arrested for their celebrations. The homes of Palestinian terrorists are frequently demolished as punishment for terror acts.
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