TEL AVIV – The sister of a Palestinian terrorist who plowed his truck into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing four and wounding 16, said the family was “thankful” for his “most beautiful martyrdom.”
“Praise be to Allah that he became a martyr. It is the most beautiful kind of saintly death,” Fadi al Qanbar’s sister Shadia, 28, told Palestinian media.
“Allah chose him for this martyrdom. Thank God. We are patient and we thank Allah for this,” she added.
Shadia said her brother was not a member of any terror group and had acted on his own. She added that Qanbar, a father of four, was devoutly religious.
Qanbar rammed his truck into a crowd of cadets and officers who were touring the promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem in the southern neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv. According to eyewitnesses, after the terrorist ran his flatbed truck over the soldiers, he reversed over them a second time. All four of the soldiers who died were in their twenties, and three of them were women.
Gaza-based terror group Hamas on Sunday praised the attack as a “heroic” act and encouraged other Palestinians to do the same and “escalate the resistance.” In the coastal enclave, Palestinians were photographed giving out sweets to passing drivers in celebration of the attack.
Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanou said the truck-ramming attack showed that the wave of Palestinian violent “resistance” against Israel has not ceased. “It may be quiet, it may linger, but it will never end,” he said.
At least nine people have been arrested in connection with the attack, mostly members of the Qanbar family.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there are signs Qanbar may have supported the Islamic State. He also suggested a connection between Sunday’s attack and the truck rammings in Berlin and Nice last year.