Israeli police seal up home of Jerusalem attacker’s family

AP  /  February 12, 2023

JERUSALEM – Security personnel sealed up the family home of a Palestinian man who careened his car into a Jerusalem bus stop, killing three Israelis and injuring several others, Israeli police said Sunday.

Police released a video showing police and soldiers welding the doors and windows of the apartment in East Jerusalem shut. The action came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the dwelling sealed immediately after the Friday attack. It was the first step ahead of the possible demolition of the apartment.

Three Israelis, including brothers aged 8 and 6, were killed Friday when Palestinian driver Hussein Qaraqa careened into a bus stop in the east Jerusalem settlement of Ramot. Asher and Yaakov Paley’s father was one of five people injured in the incident. Qaraqa, 32, was killed by police at the scene.

Addressing the Cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu said that the “appropriate response to terror is strike it with force and further deepen our roots in our land.” He said the government would discuss an “even broader operation against the perpetrators of terrorism” in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Police had arrested and interrogated Qaraqa’s family almost immediately after he carried out Friday’s deadly attack. It said that a court had extended the detention of his two brothers and that the investigation was ongoing.

Qaraqa’s family said he had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and had been released from a hospital just two days before the incident.

Israel says demolishing Palestinian attackers’ homes serves as a deterrent meant to prevent future attacks. But human rights groups say the practice amounts to collective punishment and leaves relatives who had nothing to do with the attack homeless.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians seek east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, as capital of a future state.