Tensions between Israel and Palestine have been heightened following the killing of four Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian who drove a truck into a group of trainee soldiers.
Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza strip went ahead with a planned demonstration against the continuing Israeli blockade of the air and land and sea terminals and took the opportunity to express support for the recent attacks on the Israelis. Civilians in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria bought distributed candies in celebration of the attack.
At a rally attended by thousands of Hamas activists and supporters on the streets of Jabalya, crowds angered by the Israeli policies chanted anti-Israeli slogans. Venting the frustrations of the crowds, Hamas spokesman, Fathi Hamad said, "The message of our Islamic party Hamas is a message of encouragement and support for every fighter who carries out an attack that puts an end to the acts of the Zionist enemy,"
The attack in Jerusalem targeted officers as they got out of a bus near the walled Old City in the illegal settlement area of East Taipiyyot, a video of the incident show the driver attempting to reverse through a U-turn before being shot by other soldiers at the scene.
According to neighbourhood residents in the district of Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem where the attacker, named as 28-year-old Fadi Qunbar, is said to have lived, within hours an Israeli security forces immediately carried out raids on the family of the alleged truck driver arresting nine people including five of his family members.
Abu Ali the uncle of the man said the solders surrounded the area and indiscriminately attacked men, women and children in the streets. Residents fully expect that the house in which Qunbar lived will be bulldozed by the Israeli authorities in line with their long-standing policy.
The Israeli Prime Minister immediately speaking at the scene of the incident said that the signs indicated that this was an attack by ISIS that appear to be inspired by the event in Berlin last year when a lorry run into a market in central Berlin killing 12 people and injuring 49 on 19 December.
Speaking to the Muslim Eye, Dr. Daud Abdullah, editor in Chief of the Middle East Monitor said, “Netanyahu has a long record of trying to equate events in occupied Palestine with events in the West. While the truck driver attack appeared to be similar to Paris the case for organisational link with ISIS has to be made with tangible evidence rather than circumstantial.”
More than 200 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in violent incidents over the past six months. Israel are refusing to accept that the Palestinian leadership assertion that the attacks are a result of the frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation. The Israelis believe Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks.