Four brothers of the terrorist who committed Tuesday’s shooting attack in Jerusalem have been expelled to the West Bank because they had no permits to reside in Israel.
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The terrorist, Fouad Tamimi of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, shot and seriously wounded a policeman on the capital’s Saladin Street. When the cops gave chase, he shot another policeman, wounding him seriously as well, before being shot to death himself.
Following the attack, police arrested Tamimi’s father for questioning. They also decided to expel Tamimi’s four brothers, aged 14 to 19, to the home of a relative in the West Bank village of Bir Naballah, north of Jerusalem. Tamimi’s mother, despite being a permanent Israeli resident, was forced to go to the relative’s house as well to avoid splitting up the family, along with her four younger children, aged 2 to 14.
The family’s attorney, Mohammad Mahmoud, told Haaretz that police summoned the family for questioning on Thursday afternoon, and that evening, a police vehicle took them all to the Qalandiyah checkpoint and sent them across it, into territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
“This decision fell on us like a bolt from the blue,” said the mother, Misa Tamimi. “I couldn’t leave some of my children in Issawiya while some were expelled, and therefore, we’re all together now. But we can’t stay here for long, without a home.”
She also said she hoped her husband would be released soon.
Mahmoud said that on Sunday, he will look into whether the decision can be appealed in court, and if so, how.
The Jerusalem police said that as in every case when a Palestinian is found to be in Israel illegally, the four brothers were sent back to the West Bank via Qalandiyah.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that immediately after Tuesday’s attack, he ordered the police to examine the legal status of Tamimi’s family. The investigation found that while Tamimi’s mother had applied for her family to receive residency rights under the family unification program, her application hadn’t yet been approved. Therefore, Tamimi’s father and siblings were not legal residents of Jerusalem, so they were expelled to the West Bank.
“I’ve given the police clear instructions: Anyone who is here illegally will be expelled,” Erdan added. “We’ll continue to fight terror intensively on every front, and we’ll exact a steep price from everyone who supports, finances or abets terror.”