A sheikh familiar with an Arab truck driver who went on a recent rampage in Tel Aviv
says the man, Issa Ibrahim Islam, was "possessed by the devil" at the time of the incident.
The sheikh claims he treated Islam, who he said was in a difficult mental state before the incident took place. The truck driver prayed at his mosque frequently, the sheikh said.
On the recent "Nakba Day," Islam went on a rampage with his truck in southern Tel Aviv, killing one person and wounding 17. The sheikh, who was interrogated by police Wednesday, said that Islam was "possessed by the devil," which prompted him to press the gas pedal of his heavy truck.
Islam has been under arrest since the incident and continues to insist that the rampage was not a deliberate or terror-related act.
Truck came to halt at school fence (Photo: Yaron Brener)
The sheikh said he treated Islam using alternative methods in the days before the incident. The treatment included rubbing oil on the suspect's stomach while reciting Koran verses.
The sheikh was summoned for an interrogation after Islam's relatives, including his brother, claimed that the terror suspect was in a difficult mental state, which prompted him to go on the rampage.
Islam's attorney, Mufid Badir, told Ynet: "I asked the police before…to look into his mental history, in light of the medical and alternative treatments he underwent…I don't understand how they gave him a license to drive a heavy truck given his mental state."