Palestinian Vehicular Terrorism in Jerusalem*

By Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Monday, November 10th, 2014 @ 4:43PM

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 Left: The “Run over Organization” – “Hit the gas at 199 [km/h] for Al-Aqsa”
Urges Palestinians to use their cars to kill Jews.  The “Run over Organization”, or Da’es in Arabic, is play on words for the Arabic acronym of ISIS – Da’esh [Facebook, “Fatah – The Main Page” Nov. 6, 2014]” Source: Palestinian Media Watch, November 6, 2014

Vehicular Attack in Jerusalem – Overview

1.   On November 5, 2014, another vehicular attack was carried out in Jerusalem, killing a Border Police soldier and a civilian, wounding twelve, some of them seriously. Hamas rushed to claim that the Palestinian driving the vehicle was one of its operatives, and called for more vehicular attacks. It was the third vehicular attack carried out in Jerusalem in the past two months and the second targeting people at a light railway station (See the Appendix for a list of previous vehicular attacks).

2.   The attack was part of the wave of violence and terrorism currently being carried out by the Palestinians in east Jerusalem. The rising tensions are rooted in the murder of Palestinian youth Muhammad Abu Kheir, Operation Protective Edge and the visits of Israelis to the Temple Mount. The violence is manifested by the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails and the use of fireworks as weapons, especially in east Jerusalem. The main target is public transportation (buses and the light railway running through east Jerusalem). There were other vehicular attacks as well as the attempted shooting of Yehuda Glick, a right-wing activist known for his activities in promoting visits of Jews to the Temple Mount.

3.   Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership have actively encouraged acts of violence, regarding them as legitimate and part of the so-called Palestinian “popular resistance.” They provide political and moral backing for the perpetrators, do not condemn the attacks and acts of violence, and repeatedly accuse Israel of escalation. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations glorify the terrorist operatives and their activities, and call for more violence and terrorism against Israel and to turn them into a “third intifada.”

The Vehicular Attack in Jerusalem

4.   On the afternoon of November 5, 2014, a terrorist operative drove along the light railway tracks on Simon the Just Street in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem. He rammed into people waiting for the train, including three Border Police soldiers, seriously wounding them. From there he sped along a main street, hitting people and vehicles along the way. His vehicle stopped when it hit a car and he got out and started attacking passersby with an iron bar. He was shot to death by Border Police soldiers deployed in the area.

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The scene of the vehicular attack (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, November 5, 2014).

5.   The Border Police soldier killed was Chief Inspector Jada’an Assad, 38, from Beit Jann (northern Israel). He left behind a wife and a three year-old son.

6.   On November 7, 2014, Shalom Ba’adani, a 17 year-old yeshiva student who had been critically wounded in the attack, died. He had been riding his bicycle en route to the Western Wall when al-Akari attacked him.

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Chief Inspector Jada’an Assad, killed in the vehicular attack (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, November 5, 2014)

The Terrorist Operative Who Carried Out the Vehicular Attack

7.   The terrorist who carried out the attack was Ibrahim al-Akari, from Shuafat in east Jerusalem, married and father of five. It is not known whether or not he had previously been involved in terrorist activities. His Facebook page had many items relating to Al-Aqsa mosque and the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick (the account has since been closed).

8.   Ibrahim al-Akari’s funeral was held on the night of November 5, 2014, in the Shuafat refugee camp. The Israeli police limited attendance to 35 people to prevent rioting. The body was wrapped in a green shroud and not a Hamas flag, apparently because of Israeli police presence (Silwanic.net, November 6, 2014).

9.   Musa al-Akari, Ibrahim’s brother, belonged to the terrorist squad that abducted and murdered Border Police soldier Nissim Toledano on December 13, 1992. Musa al-Akari was apprehended and sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment, and released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal. He was expelled to Turkey, where there are several Hamas operatives who handle terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria. One of them is Saleh Muhammad Suleiman al-Arouri, a senior member of Hamas’ political bureau who in the past held the prisoners’ affairs portfolio in the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip. In the 1990s he was one of the founders of the Hamas’ military-terrorist wing in Judea and Samaria. He was detained by Israel in 1992 and sentenced to five years in prison for membership in a terrorist organization. Since then he has served various prison sentences. He was released on March 30, 2010 in an agreement he signed after having served 18 years in prison, and expelled from Israel. He went to Jordan and from there to Syria. He was a member of the Hamas negotiating team in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.[1]

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Left: Four of al-Akari’s five children. Right: The death notice issued by Hamas for terrorist operative Ibrahim al-Akari. In the upper left hand corner is the logo of the “At your orders, Al-Aqsa” campaign, and in the upper right hand corner is the Hamas logo. The Arabic reads, “The Islamic resistance movement Hamas mourns its son, Ibrahim al-Akari from the steadfast Shuafat refugee camp, who became a shaheed and a hero. He carried out the vehicular attack in Jerusalem that killed and wounded a number of Zionists” (PALDF, November 5, 2014).

Vehicular Event near Gush Etzion – Apparently a Hit and Run Accident

10.   At approximately 2200 hours on November 5, 2014, a vehicle hit a group of soldiers at the Aroub Junction near Gush Etzion, injuring one soldier critically and two seriously. IDF forces searched the region and found the car abandoned in refugee camp of Al-Aroub.

11.   On the morning of November 6, 2014, the Israeli security forces detained several Palestinians from the Al-Aroub refugee camp, among them members of the family of the driver suspected of the event. The suspect is Hamam Jamal Bedawi al-Musalma from Beit al-A’wwah (south of Hebron). He later turned himself in. The interrogation revealed that the event was apparently a hit and run accident and not a terrorist attack (Ynetnews.co.il, November 6, 2014).

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The car found abandoned in Al-Aroub (Tazpit.org.il, November 5, 2014).

Reactions to the Vehicular Attack in Jerusalem

12.   There were several Palestinian responses to the vehicular attack in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority (PA), as usual, blamed Israel and accused it of responsibility for the deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem. Fatah praised the attack and Hamas issued a death notice and calls for more such attacks to “defend Al-Aqsa mosque.”

The PA

13.   Nimer Hamad, Mahmoud Abbas’ political advisor, issued a statement blaming Israel for the deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem, accusing it of breaking into Al-Aqsa mosque and passing racist legislation. He claimed Mahmoud Abbas was trying to keep the Palestinian people from being drawn into a cycle of violence and counter-violence, as planned by Netanyahu to ease the diplomatic pressure exerted on him. Hamad demanded the Americans intervene and restrain Israel (Palestinian TV, November 5, 2014). The announcement made no mention of the vehicular attack.

Fatah

14.   Fatah’s official Facebook page posted a picture of the al-Akari and the text “May peace be upon the shaheed of Jerusalem, Ibrahim al-Akari.”

Hamas

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Cartoon of the dome of Al-Aqsa mosque mounted on a car. The Arabic reads “Israeli killed in a vehicular attack in Jerusalem…” (PALDF, November 6, 2014).

15.   Hamas officially announced that the terrorist who carried out the vehicular attack in Jerusalem was one of its operatives (Al-Aqsa TV, November 5, 2014). The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades sent a Tweet stating that the terrorist was the brother of released prisoner Musa al-Akari, who was one of the abductors of Nissim Toledano (abducted on December 13, 1992).

16.   Senior Hamas figures praised the attack:

1)     Immediately after the attack Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum used his Facebook page to praise, in the name of Hamas, the “heroic attack” in Jerusalem carried out by “one of the blessed heroes of Jerusalem,” who attacked “Zionist and extremist” soldiers and security personnel. He said the “high-quality attack” had been a “natural reaction” and the result of the crimes and attacks carried out by Israel against Al-Aqsa mosque and the holy Palestinian sites. He demanded, in the name of Hamas, that the residents of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria sacrifice themselves and carry out more “resistance” [i.e. terrorist] attacks. He called on them to use force to confront the soldiers of the “occupation” and the settlers to defend Al-Aqsa mosque and the “rights of the Palestinian people” (Facebook page of Fawzi Barhoum, November 5, 2014).

2)     Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, praised the vehicular attack in Jerusalem. He claimed that as long as “invasions” and the “Judaization” of Al-Aqsa mosque continued Hamas would bless such attacks in Jerusalem. He appealed to Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims to awake and hold marches and community activities. He also demanded that the “jihad and military awake” [i.e., to turn the popular resistance into military attacks]. He said that the unarmed, if they had courage, could carry out “a simple attack” using a vehicle or a knife (Al-Aqsa TV, November 5, 2014).

3)     Musheir al-Masri claimed the attack would have a positive influence on Jerusalem, the holy sites and the Palestinian people. He claimed that Israel had to know that every action would be met with a response. He called on Palestinians living close to Jerusalem to lead to the breakout of a “third intifada” wherever there were Palestinians. He also called on Mahmoud Abbas to allow a third intifada that would be “a volcano” (Al-Aqsa TV, November 5, 2014).

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

17.   The PIJ praised the vehicular attack, claiming it was a response of the Palestinian people to the aggression against and the defilement of Al-Aqsa mosque. The PIJ said in an announcement that the campaign was open and continuing, and that Israel would bear the responsibility for damage done to the holy sites. PIJ spokesman Daoud Shihab claimed that the young Palestinians who carried out lone attacks were responding for the entire Palestinian people. He claimed the campaign in Jerusalem was continuing and escalating, and that an attack on Al-Aqsa mosque was a “red line” that could not be crossed (Paltoday.ps, November 5, 2014).

Notices Encouraging Vehicular Attacks

18.   In the wake of the wave of vehicular attacks in Jerusalem the various Internet sites, forums and social media of Hamas and other terrorist organizations posted notices encouraging vehicular attacks.

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Left: Gas pedal exchanged for ammunition magazine. The Arabic reads, “Hero, take hold of your weapon” (PALDF, November 6, 2014). Right: Traffic sign showing a car hitting civilians. The Arabic reads “The vehicle intifada, [vehicular] attack” (PALDF, November 5, 2014).

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Notice issued by the “At your orders, Al-Aqsa” campaign. The Arabic reads, “Run over the Zionists for the sake of Al-Aqsa” (PALDF, November 6, 2014).

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Left: The Arabic reads “Run [them] over, son of Hebron…and son of Jerusalem. Take your car…and run over the Zionists” (PALDF, November 6, 2014). Right: The Jerusalem speedometer. Every 20 kilometers per hour is marked with a map of “Palestine.” The Arabic reads, “Rise up, step on the gas until we have restored Palestine.” The fine print reads “Revolutionary violence” (PALDF, November 6, 2014).

Appendix

1.   Prominent among the vehicular attacks have been those carried out in Jerusalem. Four of them using heavy equipment, killing five Israelis and wounding more than 100. Following information about those carried out in Jerusalem:

1)  On the afternoon of October 22, 2014, a Palestinian terrorist operative from the Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem carried out a vehicular attack at the Ammunition Hill light railway station in Jerusalem. He killed a three month-old infant girl and wounded eight other people. One of them, a 20 year-old female tourist, was critically injured and later died.

2)  On August 4, 2014 (during Operation Protective Edge) a 360-degree excavator was driven off a building site in the center of Jerusalem by a Palestinian terrorist and used to run over a nearby pedestrian. The driver than used the excavator’s blade to overturn a bus. The bus was empty except for the driver and another employee of the company. The two sustained minor injuries and managed to leave the bus. A member of the Israel Prison Service shot and killed the terrorist, Muhammad Naif Ja’bis, from Jabal Mukaber. He had a criminal record and was known to the police.

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The excavator used in the attack (Israel Police Force, August 4, 2014).

3)  On March 5, 2009 a Palestinian driving a front loader near the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem rammed into a police patrol car and lowered the blade in an attempt to crush it. The patrol car had been called out because of a traffic accident and was parked at the side of the street. Two policemen in the car at the time sustained slight injuries. The terrorist was Mara’i al-Radeideh, 24, from Beit Hanina in northern Jerusalem. He was shot by three policemen and a taxi driver. He was critically wounded and died on the way to the hospital. His brother, Younes al- Radeideh, carried out a vehicular attack at an IDF base near A-Ram on October 17, 2013.

4)  On July 22, 2008, a Palestinian took a tractor from a construction site near the Yemin Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem and drove it at high speed along a main road. On the way he rammed into a number of vehicles and after 250 meters was shot by a Border Police soldier. He wounded 24 people, one of them seriously. He was shot and killed by Israeli security forces. He came from Umm Tuba in east Jerusalem.

5)  On July 2, 2008, a Palestinian terrorist operative from Sur Baher in east Jerusalem used a large Caterpillar tractor to attack civilians in a crowded area in the center of Jerusalem. He sped from the construction site to a main road, where he drove into cars and pedestrians until a policeman, security guard and off-duty soldier shot and killed him, ending his rampage. The attack killed three people and wounded more than seventy.

NOTE

[1] For further information see the August 20, 2014 bulletin “Saleh al-Arouri, Turkey-based senior Hamas operative who handles military-terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria, admitted that Hamas was behind the abduction and murder of the three Jewish youths from Gush Etzion.”

* This article was published on November 6 on the Meir Amit website under the title “Another vehicular terrorist attack in Jerusalem, part of the latest wave of Palestinian violence and terrorism in the city.”

 

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