Arabs’ ‘march of support’ for Hamas terrorist turns violent

Israeli security forces clash with Arabs holding “march of support” for Hamas terrorist who killed Israel, wounded four others.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After Sunday’s deadly terror attack which killed an Israeli and left four others wounded, residents of the Hamas-backed perpetrator’s community rallied in the streets in support of the murder and clashed with Israeli security officials.

Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a native of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood Shuafat who taught in an Israeli school, was shot dead yesterday by Israeli security officials after shooting multiple Israelis who had just finished praying at the Western Wall.

After evening prayers in a local mosque in Shuafat, dozens took to the streets in what they referred to as a “march of support” for Abu Shkhaydam. The marchers waved Hamas flags and chanted slogans about their support for the terror group, Hebrew language media reported.

Social media video from the scene shows demonstrators shouting, “Millions of martyrs will march to Jerusalem” and “We’re Mohammad Deif’s men,” in a reference to Hamas’ chief military architect.

The parade devolved into a riot as Israeli security forces sought to break up the gathering, firing tear gas as Shuafat residents hurled projectiles at police vehicles.

Magen David Adom reported that they aided at the scene of two Molotov cocktail explosions, one in the Old City which wounded a 30-year-old man. The other improvised explosive was hurled at a bus driver at the Hizma checkpoint near Jerusalem, who was treated for shock.

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Shuafat local Mustafa Za’atra, who studied under Abu Shkhaydam, told Arabic language news al-Qastal that “he was the best teacher. He never cursed anyone, or called anyone a bad name, except the Jews, may God burn them.”

The terror attack appears to have been planned in advance, as Abu Shkhaydam’s wife and children fled Israel for a foreign country last week and he used a submachine gun, which was likely smuggled into the country specifically for the attack.

According to recent polls, embattled Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’ popularity among Palestinians has reached an all-time low and support for Hamas is steadily growing.

Israeli officials are worried the terror attack could signify a move for the terror group to stake its claim as the governing body of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

“The Palestinian Authority suffers from governance problems, especially [because of] Hamas operatives,” an Israeli security official told Maariv.

“Over the last few days, there have been shootings, one of them in the Jenin refugee camp, of the kind that embarrasses the PA,” the official continued.

Defense Ministry Benny Gantz is examining measures to strengthen the PA and weaken Hamas’ influence in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, the source said.

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