Israeli authorities: Jerusalem bombing suspect ‘identifies with Islamic State’

A bomb disposal expert and Israeli police inspect a damaged bus after one of the explosions in Jerusalem last month (Ronen Zvulun - Reuters)

AFP  /  December 27, 2022

Aslam Farouh, believed to have carried out bus stop attacks last month, acted on ‘salafi-jihadi ideology’, officials say.

Israeli authorities say they have arrested a suspect in Jerusalem over twin bombings that killed two people last month and that he identifies with Islamic State.

Aslam Farouh, 26, an Arab man with an Israeli residency card, lived between Ramallah and Kafr Akab, a neighbourhood of Jerusalem, the Shin Bet domestic security agency and Israel police said in a joint statement.

“The Shin Bet, the police and the army have arrested Aslam Farouh, suspected of carrying out the bombing in Jerusalem last month,” it said in reference to attacks at two bus stops.

“The suspect acted on his salafi-jihadi ideology, identifying with the Daesh organization and acting alone after a long period of preparation in order to target Israeli citizens in Jerusalem,” the statement said, using another term for IS.

A Carlo makeshift submachine gun and an explosive device were found in Farouh’s possession and he would be indicted “in the coming days”.

An Israeli-Canadian teenager and an Israeli aged in his fifties were killed and 13 others were wounded in the first bombings to hit the contested city since 2016.

The attacks came amid a surge in violence in Israel and Palestine.

At least 150 Palestinians and 26 Israelis have been killed this year across Israel, the occupied West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

A further 49 Palestinians died during three days of fighting between Gaza Strip militants and Israel in August.

According to United Nations data, 2022 has been the deadliest year since the 2002-05 Palestinian uprising, known as the Second Intifada.