Israel insists attack on soldiers in occupied territory is “terror”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, right, at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem on 8 January. A Palestinian driver plowed into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four, before he was shot dead.

Ronen Zvulun Reuters

Israel has begun to implement a series of draconian measures after a Palestinian ran a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers at the East Talpiot settlement near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, killing four and injuring 13. The Palestinian man, identified as Fadi Ahmad Hamdan al-Qunbar, 28, was shot dead at the scene.

Security camera footage of the incident shows a truck driving into approximately a dozen people in Israeli military uniform standing next to a bus, and then backing up and and driving towards the group before it slows to a halt:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at the scene of the attack the same day, stated, “We know the identity of the attacker. All signs point to the attacker being a supporter of the Islamic State.”

Netanyahu did not support his claims with evidence, but referred to recent vehicle ramming attacks in Europe.

The Israeli army meanwhile put out a video montage of footage from ramming attacks in France, Germany and the US and similar attacks waged by Palestinians.

Israel has long sought to conflate Palestinian resistance with attacks in Europe and the US to obscure its decades-long military occupation and Palestinian aspirations for self-determination.

Israel and its supporters also insist that any attack by Palestinians be viewed as terrorism, despite the fact that international law has long recognized their right to resist against military occupation.

Israeli lawmaker Amir Ohana said a local tour guide “shot the terrorist and prevented further casualties. He joins a long line of citizens who carried weapons and thwarted attacks in the recent wave.” Orhana was referring to the new phase of attacks by individual Palestinians acting independently of armed groups that began in late 2015.

A tour guide who was accompanying the soldiers on “an educational tour of Jerusalem” on Sunday told Israel Radio that both civilians and soldiers shot at the truck.

Family punished

On Sunday, Netanyahu’s government adopted a measure to use administrative detention orders – imprisonment without charge or trial – against people suspected of affiliation with Islamic State.

The tactic is widely used against Palestinians living under military occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with Israel holding more than 700 Palestinians under administrative detention orders in October 2016.

The Israeli government approved a series of measures to collectively punish al-Qunbar’s family, including demolishing their home as soon as possible, rejecting their family unification requests, and withholding al-Qunbar’s body.

Such reprisals have been carried out against other Jerusalem families whose relatives carried out attacks or are suspected of carrying out attacks since late 2015.

On Sunday, Israeli forces raided al-Qunbar’s neighborhood in the Jabal al-Mukabbir area of Jerusalem and detained at least five of his relatives, the Ma’an News Agency reported.

Ma’an interviewed al-Qunbar’s sister, who said Israeli forces raided al-Qunbar’s home, as well as those of his brothers and parents. His sisters were interrogated and summoned for further questioning.

Al-Qunbar’s sister Shadia, who has been ordered to two days of house arrest, said her slain brother was a father of four, and had no political affiliation and had not been previously detained.

On Monday, an Israeli court extended the detention of al-Qunbar’s brothers Munthir and Muhammad and his cousin Muhammad Omran al-Qunbar.

“We don’t know what happened with Fadi,” al-Qunbar’s sister said. “He called his wife [before the attack] and told her to prepare lunch.”


On Monday, Israel’s deputy foreign minister called for full control of East Jerusalem’s education system – Israeli officials routinely claim that alleged incitement in Palestinian schools, rather than the actions of Israel’s occupation forces, provoke Palestinian violence.

Israel’s housing minister, a former military general, has called for al-Qunbar’s family to be expelled to Syria, and for his relatives to be denied national insurance benefits.

Israeli police prevented al-Qunbar’s family from putting up a mourning tent to receive condolence visits.

“Dozens of Israeli settlers meanwhile launched a march under the protection of Israeli forces near Jabal al-Mukabbir on Sunday evening, chanting anti-Palestinian slurs, according to locals,” the Ma’an News Agency reported.

A police spokesperson told Ma’an that officers dispersed a protest organized by Lehava, an Israeli government-funded extremist group that campaigns against miscegenation between Jewish women and Palestinian men.

On Monday, police blockaded Jabal al-Mukabbir and were checking each car driving out of the area, Haaretz added.


In the US, the White House, State Department and a number of lawmakers condemned the attack, as did Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

One of the four soldiers killed, Erez Orbach, 20, held US citizenship.

Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat stated that “Unfortunately there is no limit to the cruelty of the terrorists who stop at nothing to murder Jews and disrupt life in Israel’s capital.”

However, a disrupted life is the norm for Palestinians living in Jerusalem’s occupied eastern sector.

In the first week of 2017, Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem demolished two homes belonging to Palestinians, part of a surge in demolitions that left 151 Palestinians homeless across the West Bank in a few days.

Israeli forces regularly raid Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and in some areas, settler groups take over homes and push out their Palestinian residents.

A Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem was shot dead last month when Israeli forces raided the Kufr Aqab neighborhood to demolish a house belonging to a Palestinian slain after he killed two Israelis in the city last October.

A youth was killed during a crackdown on Palestinians in the city following the October attack.

Sunday’s attack in Jerusalem was described by Hamas as a “natural reaction to the Israeli occupation’s crimes,” a sentiment echoed by other Palestinian factions.




So the Israelis would have regarded Native American resistance to white colonization as terror as well then?


You are right. As did the French in Algeria were they murdered 30000 people at Sétif in 1945 and the Dutch in Indonesia when they wanted to reinstall their colonial regime in 1945 , as did the UK in Kenya were they murdered and mutilated the Kikuyu from 1952 - 1962 and the Belgians who mutilated and murdered the Congolese during their occupation. And in fact nothing has changed. All those colonials are now neo colonials as rotten as ever, as hypoctites as ever with preaching of "human rights "


is the phrase following title) is one that everyone should read. Not later
but now!! It is clear, to the point, well-documented. (2017, Olive Branch Press The focus of the book is the period prior to the
1948 war.

Suarez, a professional violinist, should be forgiven his taste if only
because of this work, necessary reading for all EI readers.

----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA


That's the world upside down..... every nation has the right to oppose the military occupation of their country. So also in the case of the occupying power Israel for the occupation of Palestine. Stealing Palesitian land and water resources, theft of freedom of people, extra judical killings, night raids, detention and torture of innocuous (minor) people without any charge. Demolishing houses and cutting olive trees. That's terror !!


The video shows most of the IDF soldiers fleeing the scene of the attack, which is exactly the kind of behavior you'd expect from an army whose principal assignment has long been the intimidation and murder of defenseless civilians. As a matter of fact, there's been considerable discussion of this flight-response in the Israeli media. Many are actually trying to ascribe the sight of Israeli soldiers crouching in fear and running away to an "Azaria effect". Apparently it's felt that the trial and conviction of Sgt. Elor Azaria by the military system he served has convinced his comrades they won't have the backing of senior officers in the event of a violent incident. They regard Azaria's murder of a wounded prisoner as an act of purest self defense and are no longer prepared to risk their necks, for fear of prosecution. Which is a pretty thin veil to drape over a scene of abject panic in the ranks.


It is easier to brand the Palestinians terrorists, this way the zionists think the world will accept these senseless death. Never have they referred to them people resisting an occupation, and the theft of their lands. These zionists in the eyes of many around the world are the biggest terrorists, not only their armed forces, but the illegal settlers too. These terrorists get away with massacres because they claim to be a democracy, and are totally supported by the US.


The killing of enemy combatants in a war for liberation is not terror, but the murder of innocent women and children is. The military , police, and colonists of the Zionist project have practiced terror against the Palestinian people for the better part of a century, with no end in sight. The hypocrisy and arrogance of this rogue regime is obvious and shameful.

Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.