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Report: Girl who praised gunman father in video arrested by Israel

Israeli security forces this week reportedly arrested the teenage daughter of the eastern Jerusalem gunman who killed two Israelis in a shooting spree.

The girl was held and questioned with her mother for more than an hour on Oct. 10 before being taken into custody, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

Prior to the reported arrest, a video of the teen, Eiman, praising her father, Misbah Abu Sbeih, 39, went viral on Facebook. Different reports cite her age is either 17 or 14.

“We deem my father as martyr,” Eiman said in the video, according to Ma’an. “We hope he will plead for us before God on judgment day. … I am proud of what my father did.

“We’re very happy and proud of our father,” she also said. “My father is a great man. Our relationship, as father and daughter, was excellent.”

Abu Sbeih shot and killed at least one person at the Ammunition Hill light rail station in northern Jerusalem on Oct. 9, then continued shooting as police pursued him on. Officers ultimately shot and killed the assailant, who reportedly killed a police officer and a 60-year-old Israeli woman and injured five others.

According to reports, he had been expected to report to an Israeli prison at the time of the attack to serve a four-month sentence for assaulting a police officer in 2013.

He reportedly had been known to Israel Police as a suspected terrorist and member of Hamas for several years. Abu Sbeih previously spent a year in jail for incitement in Facebook posts.

The Hamas terror organization in Gaza claimed Abu Sbeih as one of its operatives and praised his “operation.” He also was a member of the Murabitun, a group of Muslim extremists who go to the Temple Mount to harass and threaten Jewish visitors.

Photos showed Hamas supporters handing out candy and baklava to celebrate Abu Sbeih’s “martyrdom.” Candy in his honor also was handed out in eastern Jerusalem. The Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced a day of mourning in his memory.

In related news, an Israeli soldier was injured Oct. 10 when a Palestinian resident of eastern Jerusalem threw an explosive device at Israeli troops measuring the Abu Sbeih family home for demolition. Crowds had gathered outside the home, located in the al-Ram neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, to celebrate his act, and 31 people were arrested for their celebrations. The homes of Palestinian terrorists are frequently demolished as punishment for terror acts. — jta


Palestinian from eastern Jerusalem charged in terror plot

A Palestinian resident of eastern Jerusalem was charged with planning terror attacks in the Jerusalem area.

Muhammad Fuaz Ibrahim Julani, 22, of the Shuafat refugee camp, was indicted Oct. 11 in Jerusalem District Court.

He planned to carry out the attacks on behalf of the terrorist Hamas group, said the Shin Bet security service. Among the planned attacks was a suicide bus bombing in the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood of Jerusalem, which had been scheduled for mid-September after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice.

The Shin Bet arrested Julani last month, days before that planned attack. He reportedly contacted Gaza residents affiliated with Hamas via Facebook and, using money provided by his handlers, obtained the raw materials to build an explosive device.

Julani reportedly also told the Shin Bet that he had planned a stabbing attack in Pisgat Zeev earlier this year, but did not follow through out of concern that Israeli security forces would demolish his parents’ home.

He reportedly filmed a final message to be distributed after the attack.

Two members of his family also were arrested for helping him hide the bomb-making materials. — jta


Dimona nuclear plant to be named for Shimon Peres

The Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel will be renamed in honor of Shimon Peres.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting that he intends to have the Nuclear Research Center-Negev renamed for Peres, who died two weeks ago.

“Shimon Peres worked greatly to establish this important enterprise, an enterprise which is important to the security of Israel for generations, and I think that it would be right and proper to rename the center after him,” Netanyahu said on Oct. 9.

Peres, a former president and prime minister of Israel, founded Israel’s arms production industry and led efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. His work led to the building of the nuclear reactor at Dimona, in secret and with French assistance, beginning in the late 1950s. The reactor became active between 1962 and 1964.

According to reports, enough plutonium has been produced at the reactor to fuel between 100 and 200 nuclear bombs.

Peres died on Sept. 28 at 93 following a severe stroke. Shortly after Peres’ death, a transportation minister discussed the possibility of renaming the heavily trafficked Ayalon Highway for him. — jta


U.S. ire over Israel plan reportedly elicits explanation from Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told Secretary of State John Kerry that settlers from the Amona outpost would be relocated to an authorized settlement only as a last resort.

Netanyahu spoke by phone with Kerry on Oct. 9 regarding Israel’s plan to build housing units in Shiloh, deep in the West Bank, for settlers being evacuated from Amona, according to Israeli media reports. The prime minister reportedly said the plan, which calls for the construction of 98 housing units in Shiloh, does not create a new settlement, as the White House and the State Department allege.

The 40 families of the Amona outpost would be relocated to the Shiloh homes if no other solution can be found, Netanyahu told Kerry, according to reports citing unnamed Israeli officials.

Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the evacuation of the Amona outpost by the end of the calendar year after determining that most of its housing units were built on privately owned Palestinian land.

The Shiloh plan also allows for the construction of 200 additional housing units in a second phase of construction. Israel claims the Amona land and the land for the Shiloh construction are largely state-owned.

The call between Kerry and Netanyahu came days after spokesmen for the State Department and the White House slammed the plan using unusually harsh language. — jta