The Islamic resistance movement Hamas announced on Thursday that the Palestinian who slammed his car into Israeli settlers on Wednesday was indeed one of its members, but did not officially endorse the operation, Anadolu news agency reported.
Anadolu quoted a statement issued by the movement in the West Bank as saying that the young Jerusalem man, Abdul-Rahman Al-Shaloudi, aged 21, who died of his injuries on Wednesday after ploughing his car into nine Israelis in Jerusalem, was a member of Hamas.
Hamas also stated that, “The daring Jerusalem operation carried out by Al-Shaloudi is a normal and expected reaction to the escalating Zionist aggressions carried out by Israeli occupation forces and extremist settlers against the Palestinian people and our holy places.”
However, despite declaring that Al-Shaloudi was one of its members, the movement did not take responsibility for the operation.
Hamas went on to praise “the steadfastness of the Palestinian men and women inside Al-Aqsa Mosque,” calling on all segments of the Palestinian society to “rally around the city of Jerusalem in order to lift the Zionist siege forced upon it”, as well as to “escalate the confrontation with the occupation forces wherever they are present”.
Israeli medical sources announced on Wednesday that Al-Shaloudi died of his injuries after he was directly shot by an Israeli policeman.
Israeli medical and security sources said earlier that a three-month-old baby was killed of her injuries that resulted from Al-Shaloudi’s operation, which also left eight Israelis wounded.
Media is reporting that Al-Shaloudi was a Hamas activist in occupied Jerusalem who had spent a period of time in Israeli jails against the backdrop of his anti-occupation activities.
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a further crackdown against Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted a statement released by his office as saying that the prime minister has given instructions to “exercise Israeli sovereignty” in all parts of the holy city through the introduction of additional occupation forces.