(photo credit: Courtesy)
Fadi al-Qanbar, 28, carried out the ramming attack in southeastern Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on Sunday, killing four soldiers and wounding 17 others.
Qanbar, who comes from the nearby Jebl Mukaber neighborhood of the capital, was not a member of a “militant” organization or a violent person, a relative of his told Israel Radio.
“We were surprised; he was not a member of Hamas or a former prisoner. He never harmed anyone or caused problems,” the relative said.
In contrast, a number of Palestinian media outlets reported that Qanbar had served time in Israeli prison.
In the most recent wave of Arab violence, many attackers have planned and undertaken attacks without organizational backing.
Qanbar’s sister, who learned of her brother’s death on social media, told a group of reporters in Jebl Mukaber that her brother was married and had two daughters and two sons.
She praised him for carrying out the attack.
“Praise God. Our Lord chose martyrdom for him. He went out without warning [us] and without [the support of] a group... He was on his own. Our Lord chose him,” Qanbar’s sister told the Al-Quds News Network, a Palestinian news site.
Qanbar’s sister also said that security forces raided her family’s home on Sunday and arrested five of her family members.
Meanwhile, Hamas welcomed the attack minutes after it took place, calling it “heroic.”
“Hamas blesses the heroic and courageous Jerusalem operation, which is a natural response to the crimes of the Israeli occupation and its violations at the expense of our people, land and holy sites,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. “This operation is an affirmation that the resistance and the Jerusalem intifada are ongoing and that all attempts to kill, criminalize and terrorize at the expense of our people and resistance in Jerusalem will not break the will of the resistance.”
Hamas rally in Gaza following a terrorist truck ramming in Jerusalem that killed four Israelis
The Palestinian Authority and Fatah have yet to comment on Sunday’s attack.
On social media, some Palestinian activists came out in support of the truck-ramming, using the hashtag “Intifada- Bus.”
On the other hand, some Palestinians expressed their opposition to the attack. “We are with peace. We are with peace.
We are against operations,” a resident of Jebl Mukaber told Channel 2.