Family mourns terrorist's death
Photo: AP
Hossam Dawyyat
Photo: AFP
Scene of attack
Photo: Reuters

Family lawyer: Terrorist shouldn’t have been killed

Attorney says had police handcuffed bulldozer driver who went on killing spree in Jerusalem, incident would have ended at once, life would have been spared. Terrorist's brother says attack was an accident that went wrong

The lawyer representing the family of bulldozer driver Hossam Dawyyat of east Jerusalem, who murdered three people and injured dozens during a killing spree in Jerusalem on Wednesday, said Thursday that had the police cuffed the terrorist's hands and legs and removed him from the vehicle, the incident would have ended at once and "life would have been spared."


The terror attack's third victim, Jean Relevy, 68, of Jerusalem, was laid to rest on Thursday afternoon.


Issam, the terrorist's brother, said the Dawyyat family refused to believe that their son carried out a terror attack.


"My brother did not belong to any organization. He wasn’t even a religious person. After terror attacks he always used to say, 'What is this nonsense? Why do we need this?'"


According to the brother, the incident may have been a road accident which had gone wrong. "Any person responsible for a road accident is alarmed and afraid. This can happen to anyone, and this could have been a road accident. It's possible that my brother was scared when people started chasing him and shooting," he told Ynet.


However, Issam did not rule out the possibility that his brother had lost control and gone on a rampage under the influence of drugs. "It was easy to irritate him. He had a criminal record for violence offenses and he was punished for this."


Attorney Shimon Kokush, representing the Dawyyat family, told Ynet that the family members would like to offer their condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured a speedy recovery.


According to the lawyer, the family condemned the act and was shocked by its outcomes. "As far as we are concerned, this was not a terror attack. There is no ideological background, this is not a person who used to sit in mosques, and this was not planned in advance," he said.


'Someone must have irritated him'

"We are talking about a situation temporary insanity. Minutes before the incident began, this man sat with a group of laborers, who were eating and drinking. He got on the bulldozer and must have been irritated by someone, and he lost his ability to reason and his composure," added Attorney Kokush.


According to the lawyer, after the bulldozer driver was stopped, he should have been cuffed and arrested.


"The incident would have ended on the spot and life would have been spared. How could the bulldozer continue to drive on with a policeman inside?" he asked.


On Thursday morning, Border Guard officers instructed Dawyyat's family to dismantle a mourning tent installed near the terrorist's house in the east Jerusalem village of Sur Baher. The officers, who have been touring the area since the bulldozer attack, noticed that the relatives were erecting a mourning tent near his house.


Jerusalem District Police Commander Aharon Franco announced Wednesday that the police would not allow the display of mourning signs in the house, as the ones seen in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber near the home of the terrorist who killed eight yeshiva students in the capital in March.


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.08, 15:08
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