Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops surrounding terrorist's village
Clashes around the village of Kobar as Defense Minister Lieberman orders to expedite demolition of terrorist's home; large reinforcements sent to the West Bank in an effort to prevent additional attacks; terrorist's father says doesn't support attack, but blames occupation.
Some 50 Palestinians on Saturday clashed with IDF forces surrounding the village of Kobar in the West Bank, home of the terrorist who murdered a grandfather and two of his children in the settlement of Halamish the night before.
Border Police forces on the scene used crowd dispersal measures against the rioters, who were throwing stones, burning tires and blocking roads.
Earlier, IDF forces raided the terrorist's home, mapped out the structure for demolition, searched for weapons and confiscated money used for terror purposes. They also arrested the terrorist's brother, 21-year-old Monir al-Abed.
The terrorist himself, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, was released from the Beilinson Hospital at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva after being treated for injuries suffered when he was shot and neutralized. He was taken by security forces for questioning.
Al-Abed was able to jump over the fence of the Halamish settlement and enter a home, surprising a family during their Shabbat dinner. He killed a man and two of his adult children, while a woman was wounded. A neighbor heard the screams, rushed to the home and opened fire, wounding al-Abed.
Al-Abed posted a note on Facebook prior to the attack, writing: "I am going there and I know I am not going to come back here, I will go to heaven. How sweet death is for the sake of God, his prophet and for Al-Aqsa mosque." He also wrote that he wanted his body to be covered by a banner of Hamas and a photo of Yasser Arafat, founder of Hamas' main rival, the Fatah movement.
His father said his son had been angered by the escalating violence at the Jerusalem shrine, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
"The honor of Muslims is the only Haram," Mohammed al-Abed said. "If it's gone, the Muslims' honor is gone. This was the motive for my son."
"This is a natural reaction to what's going on at the al-Aqsa Mosque," the father continued. "He saw the news, saw the martyrs and the elderly and women who were so barbarically attacked, and he as a young man just wanted revenge. If (the clashes) hadn't happened, he wouldn't have done this."
The father condemned the attack, but blamed Israel for it. "I don't support any terror attack—not the kind done by the occupation and not the kind done by our side. But I told you—the reason for it is the occupation," he said.
Dozens of the terrorist's relatives and neighbors gathered at his home on Saturday afternoon. His parents and siblings were busy emptying the home before its upcoming demolition.
Unlike homes of other terrorists, the family did not hang signs praising the terrorist around their home and did not fly the flags of any of the Palestinian factions.
The father said his son did not belong to any of the Palestinian factions, even though Palestinian security officials claimed after the attack the family was affiliated with Hamas.
Earlier, Israeli security forces have begun works to establish a closure around the terrorist's village.
"Movement out of the village will be limited to humanitarian cases only," police said.
Following the attack in Halamish, large reinforcements were sent to the West Bank on Saturday from the Paratroopers' Brigade, the Nahal Brigade and special units and placed on high alert in an effort to stop any attempts to carry out additional attacks.
Following the attack, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman arrived at Halamish and were briefed of the situation. Afterward, Lieberman instructed to speed up proceedings for the demolition of the terrorist's house.
"We demand the Palestinian Authority President Abbas (issue) a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the slaughter that took place last night, of an innocent and innocent family who did not endanger anyone. A a terrible slaughter carried out during the family's Shabbat meal."
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said after initial questioning, it appears the terrorist was acting alone and decided to carry out the attack following the clashes on the Temple Mount over the past week.
"We identify a negative trend in which every day new inciters and assailants join in, and we're conducting a great effort to prevent further deterioration, including in the Gaza Strip, as there is a possibility terror organizations would try to launch an attack from there," Manelis said.
"The reinforcements sent to Judea and Samaria will continue operating there in the coming weeks and possibly beyond that," he added.
"There is an outburst that is expanding and gaining momentum," Manelis added. "The 6,000 protesters in Judea and Samaria on Friday were a lot more than the 2,500 who protested at the height of the prisoners' strike. There are religious elements at play that we did not see before, and all of this is done while there's consensus in the Arab world and the Palestinian public supports the terrorist."
The IDF spokesman said the army will not impose collective punishments on the population and will not revoke work permits for Palestinians in Israel, despite the escalation in violence.
"You have to understand that for the first time since 1969, there were no Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, and in the Arab world this is seen as something that cannot go unanswered," he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.