Cops, Palestinians clash after truck attack
CLASHES erupted in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir on Sunday night amid a fierce crackdown by Israeli forces after a resident earlier carried out a deadly truck attack at an illegal Israeli settlement.
Fadi al-Qunbar, 28, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers and armed civilians moments after he plowed a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four and wounding several others in the illegal settlement of East Talpiyyot, located next to Jabal al-Mukabbir.
“After the deadly attack in Jerusalem, heightened police security operations are taking place in a number of Arab neighbourhoods,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter yesterday, and later announced police prevented a memorial area being set up for al-Qunbar in the neighbourhood.
On Sunday night, witnesses said Israeli forces closed off the main entrance to Jabal al-Mukabbir – al-Madaris street – with cement blocks, and were heavily deployed in the streets, sparking clashes with local Palestinian youth.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri confirmed that Israeli forces closed a crossing at Jabal al-Mukabbir and “controlled traffic” at the other entrances to the neighbourhood to “maintain public safety”, after fireworks were thrown at Israeli forces stationed in the area.
Dozens of Israeli settlers launched a march under the protection of Israeli forces near Jabal al-Mukabbir on Sunday evening, chanting anti-Palestinian slurs.
Al-Samri said the group gathered at the East Talpiyyot settlement and “attempted” to make their way to Jabal al-Mukabbir while shouting “inciting” slogans. The protest was organised by the right-wing extremist organization Lehava – a Hebrew acronym standing for “the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land”.
Israeli police eventually dispersed the protest and detained two settlers for “disturbing order and not following police directions”, after the settlers blocked off streets.
As of yesterday morning, Israeli forces were detaining five of al-Qunbar’s family members – his wife Tahani, his two brothers Muhammad and Munther, his cousin Muhammad, and his sister Shadia, locals told Ma’an, without specifying whether al-Qunbar’s parents, Ahmad and Minwa, were still in custody, or if they had been released.
Israeli police confirmed it had detained five family members, and at least four others after the attack.
The detention campaign and blockade of the al-Qunbar’s neighbourhood were typical of measures imposed by Israeli authorities in response to attacks on Israelis.
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in East Jerusalem said clashes also erupted in the Silwan neighbourhood on Sunday after Palestinian youth threw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli military vehicle with Israeli forces firing sound bombs and conducting searches.
Israeli policemen stand next to Palestinians near the East Jerusalem home of a Palestinian attacker who rammed his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers at a nearby illegal Israeli settlement the day before.