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January 9, 2017 No.
6732

Following January 8, 2017 Truck-Ramming Attack In Jerusalem: Silence On Part Of PA; Expressions Of Joy By Hamas And On Social Media

The January 8, 2017 truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem's Armon Hanetziv neighborhood resulted in the death of four Israeli soldiers. The perpetrator was Fadi Al-Qunbar, a 28-year-old Palestinian from the Jabel Mukabbar neighborhood in the city who, according to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The PA and its official media outlets sufficed with factual reports about the incident, expressing no position and offering no analysis. Fatah officials refrained from commenting on the attack, except for the head of Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission, who called it a result of the Israeli occupation. An editorial in the Jerusalem daily Al-Quds, which is not affiliated with the PA, likewise blamed the attack on Israel.

Palestinian opposition elements, on the other hand, especially Hamas, welcomed the attack, calling it heroic and a natural response to Israel's actions that proves that the Al-Quds Intifada is still alive. In Gaza processions were held and sweets were handed out in celebration.

Palestinian social media pages, especially pages devoted to East Jerusalem and Al-Qunbar's neighborhood of Jabel Mukabbar, featured banners and posters hailing him as a hero and praising his action.

ISIS has yet to claim responsibility for the attack, but its supporters on social media rejoiced over it and over the perpetrator's alleged affiliation with the organization.

The following are some of the reactions to the attack.

 

Fatah Official: There Is No Occupation Without A Price

The head of Fatah's Recruitment and Organization Commission, Mounir Al-Gharoub, wrote on the commission's Facebook page: "The Palestinians express their rage by responding in the only way [available to them], which is to oppose the occupation and liberate their land from the world's last remaining occupation in order to achieve freedom and independence. The Israelis can end the conflict by forcing [their] Israeli government of terror and extremism, [the government] that, in its arrogance and violence, caused the Palestinian people to feel that all diplomatic options for attaining peace have been closed to them, to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories... A state of thugs and criminals has no [right to] exist, and there is no such thing as occupation without a price."[1]


Mounir Al-Gharoub's statement

Al-Quds Editorial: Israel Responsible For The Attack

The Al-Quds editorial said: "The one responsible for this and other operations is the Israeli occupation itself, since the behavior and violations carried out by the occupation authorities – which include the military, police, and all security apparatuses – against the Palestinians cause a Palestinian youth to dare and carry out [such operations].

"The humiliation suffered by the Palestinian people at the hands of the occupation's [military] and police forces deployed in Jerusalem or at checkpoints, the humiliating searches, the demolition of homes, the appropriation of land, and the passing of laws that cement the occupation – [all this] leaves Palestinian youths with no [hope for the] future and under the banner of the occupation, which leads them to prefer death over the humiliating life designated for them by the occupation.

"Collective punishment and daily violations against our people will only increase the hatred between the two peoples and will not serve the Israeli goals of continuing the occupation, annexing [territory], and expanding and constructing more settlements.

"The best way to guarantee an end to these actions – the responsibility for which lies solely with the occupation authorities, and not with any Palestinian element – is to lift the occupation from occupied Palestinian land, recognize the permanent national rights of our people, and realize the international initiative [to implement] a solution of two states for two peoples living side by side."[2]

Hamas: We Welcome The Heroic Operation; Al-Qunbar Proved The Jerusalem Intifada Is Still Alive

A message on Hamas's official Twitter page hailed the attack as heroic, saying: "We welcome the bold and heroic truck operation in Jerusalem which was a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation."[3]


The message on Hamas's Twitter page

A report posted on Hamas's Twitter page and official website stated that Hamas had "organized large processions in the south, north and west of the Gaza Strip to celebrate the heroic truck-ramming operation in occupied Jerusalem."[4]


Gaza Strip processsions celebrating the attack (image: Twitter.com/hamasinfo, hamas.ps/ar, January 8, 2017)

Senior Hamas official 'Izzat Al-Rishq eulogized the perpetrator on his Twitter account: "Allah Akbar, you set forth from Jabel Mukabbar to announce that the Al-Quds Intifada is [still] alive and beating in the heart of every Palestinian." In another Tweet he wrote: "Jerusalem has a light and a radiance that cannot be defiled. Our intifada has a spark and a flame that cannot be extinguished. The hero Fadi Al-Qunbar is a magnificent martyr who [died] in defense of Jerusalem in our blessed intifada."[5]


'Izzat Al-Rishq's tweets


Cartoon in the Hamas mouthpiece Al-Risala: As the four Israeli soldiers killed in the Jerusalem attack descend into their grave, a Palestinian woman says: "O Allah, may the year [2017] be a good year for us" (Al-Risala, Gaza, January 9, 2017)

Article In Pro-Hizbullah Lebanese Daily Al-Akbar: This Sacred Action Ushered In A New Year In The Life Of The Intifada

An article titled "A Sacred [Truck-]Ramming" in the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar said: "The latest action [carried out] in occupied Jerusalem is the Palestinian people's response to [the actions of] the Israeli enemy, the options of normalization [with it] and the rush to form an alliance with it. [The attack] demonstrated [the Palestinians'] desire to oppose the plots to kill the Palestinian cause. It revealed the ripening of the awareness that the path to [liberating] Palestine lies in freeing the resistance option from the considerations of regimes that regard ongoing resistance as a threat to their rule.

"This operation ushered in a new year in the life of the intifada. It was a high-quality action that, given its success, may trigger additional actions… The most important message [it conveyed] is that Jerusalem and the Jerusalemites, who were left alone in the fray, are proving once again that [Jerusalem] is the capital of all Palestinian intifadas and that what the prisoners experience at the hands of the [Israeli] enemy produces only heroes."[6]

Praise For The Attacker On Social Media

Palestinian social media pages featured obituaries praising the attacker and his action, under various hashtags.


Image posted under "Intifada Truck" hashtag: "The martyred hero Fadi Al-Qunbar of the Jabel Mukabbar in Jerusalem, who performed the heroic ramming operation" (Facebook.com/Sally.Allawy.Journalist, January 8, 2017)


Image posted on the Mukaber.net Facebook page under the "Intifada Truck" hashtag: "50% of all the actions [carried out] in Jerusalem have come out of Jabel Mukabbar (Facebook.com/mukaber.net, January 8, 2016.)


Cartoon on the pro-Hamas "Palestine Now" Facebook page: "Last passenger to Jerusalem" (Facebook.com/paltimes.net, January 8, 2017)


Graphic on "Palestinian Neighborhood" Facebook page: "Run [them] over and call it a revolution" (Facebook.com/Palestinian.Neighbourhood, January 8, 2017)


Image posted under the "Fadi Qunbar" hashtag (Twitter.com/search?q=%23%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%8A-%D9%82%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%B1&src=typd, January 8, 2017)



Image posted under "Truck Operation" hashtag, captioned "Press Hard on Your Weapon, O Hero". The text above the image says: "Run over the occupying Zionist as the spirit of Jerusalem and the prayers of the Muslims go with you" (Twitter.com/search?q=%23%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%86%D8%A9&src=typd, January 8, 2017)

ISIS Supporters Tout Perpetrator's Affiliation With Their Organization

Although ISIS has yet to claim the truck-ramming, its supporters on social networks rejoiced over the incident and over the perpetrator's alleged affiliation with the organization, and predicted that ISIS will soon take credit for it. They called Al-Qunbar a "martyr" and a "mujahid" and some changed their profile picture to his picture as a gesture of solidarity and admiration. The pro-ISIS Telegram channel "Misr Al-Muhtalla" ("Occupied Egypt") reported on the incident and noted "that six Jewish swine were killed and 14 wounded, most of them Zionist soldiers, and the attacker was martyred... We expect glad tidings from our beloved A'maq agency [i.e., a statement by ISIS's official news agency claiming responsibility for the attack].[7]

Some ISIS supporters also used the event to attack their rivals in Hamas and other Palestinian organizations. For example, the "Ibn Taymiyya Information Center," a Telegram channel affiliated with the Salafi-jihadi movement in the Gaza Strip and with ISIS supporters there, published images from the scene of the attack and pictures of the terrorist. One of the former was captioned: "Praise Allah, who provided the oppressed people of Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] with trucks they can use to run over the settler herds – [and this] instead of the harm organizations [i.e., the Palestinian organizations]." The channel expressed pride that the terrorist is affiliated with ISIS. Posting under the hashtag "The promise of the Muslims' Caliph," it stated: "The Jewish enemy reports that the one who carried out the ramming operation belongs to the Islamic Caliphate State and that he had been previously arrested for his loyalty to the caliphate state... May Allah receive him as a sacred martyr after his connection to the Islamic caliphate state has been demonstrated."[8]

 


Post praising Al-Qunbar, "the Jerusalemite who sacrificed his life," on the pro-ISIS "Ibn Taymiyya Information Center" Telegram channel


ISIS supporter who changed his profile picture to a photo of Al-Qunbar

 

Endnotes:

 


[1] Facebook.com/Official.Fateh.1965, January 8, 2017.

[2] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), January 9, 2017.

[3] Twitter.com/hamasinfo, January 8, 2017.

[4] Twitter.com/hamasinfo, hamas.ps/ar, January 8, 2017.

[5] Twitter.com/izzat_risheq, January 8, 2017.

[6] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), January 9, 2017

[7] Telegram.me/asfcvfdd, January 8, 2017.

[8] Telegram.me/bn_taimia53, January 8, 2017.