Hamas holds rally in Gaza to celebrate terrorist ramming that killed 4 Israelis
Thousands of Hamas activists and supporters took to the streets of Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza on Sunday night to rally against Israel and praise the terrorist ramming attack in Jerusalem which killed four Israelis.
Earlier on Sunday, a Palestinian rammed his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers on a popular promenade in Jerusalem, killing four of them in an attack which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had likely been inspired by Islamic State.
Chanting anti-Israeli slogans the protesters marched to the rally where sweets were handed out in celebration.
“The message of our Islamic party Hamas is a message of encouragement and support for every jihadi who carries out an attack that puts an end to the acts of the Zionist enemy,” Hamas leader Fathi Hamad, who led the rally, told Reuters.
The Palestinian Islamist group routinely praises those who carry out street attacks against Israelis.
The Palestinian attack in Jerusalem was the deadliest in months and targeted officer cadets as they disembarked from a bus that brought them to the Armon Hanatziv promenade which has a panoramic view of the walled Old City.
The military said an officer and three officer cadets were killed and that 17 others were injured.
Police identified the truck driver as a Palestinian from east Jerusalem and said he was shot dead. His uncle, Abu Ali, named him as Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qunbor, 28, a father of four from the Jabel Mukabar neighborhood.
Following the attack, Netanyahu said that access limitations were imposed in and around the east Jerusalem neighborhood and that further actions will be taken by Israel.
Late on Sunday, police were seen patrolling the area and stopping vehicles for checks. Palestinians threw fireworks at the forces, but no casualties were reported.
Actions inspired by Islamic State in Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem have been rare and only a few dozen Arab Israelis and Palestinians are known to have declared their sympathy with the group.
A wave of Palestinian street attacks, including vehicle rammings, has largely slowed but not stopped completely since it began in October 2015 and 37 Israelis and two visiting Americans have been killed in these assaults.