Mother of Palestinian Assailant Detained by Israel on Suspicion of Incitement

IDF says woman detained after praising attackers who killed border policewoman and calling to attack Jews; in interview with Israeli broadcaster, mother said she wanted son to kill many more

Policemen secure the scene of the shooting and stabbing attack outside Damascus gate in Jerusalem's Old City, June 16, 2017.
AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS

The mother of one of the assailants in Friday’s attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate was arrested on suspicion of incitement, the army spokesman announced.

Another resident of East Jerusalem’s Isawiyah neighborhood was arrested on suspicion that he transported the terrorists to the scene of the attack, in which Border Police officer Hadas Malka was killed. Police said they were investigating the suspicion that he knew of the terrorists’ intentions and did not prevent them from carrying out the killing. 

The army announced that Zeinab Ankoush, mother of one of the assailants who was killed during the incident, was arrested in the village of Dir Abu Mashal, near Ramallah. She is suspected of incitement after praising the perpetrators and saying she’d like to carry out many more such attacks. Ankoush said in an interview with Kan News on Sunday that she was proud of her son, Adel, 18, and said she wanted to kill “20, 50, 100 of them.”

The commander of the Jerusalem District police, Maj. Gen. Yoram Halevy, said, “During a condolence visit I paid to the Malka family, I promised the father of Hadas that just as we did in the past with previous attacks in Jerusalem, we would get to anyone tied to the attack in any way as well as anyone who even dares to openly express support and grossly incites and supports the murderous attack in which Hadas Malka, may her memory be blessed, was killed.”

The Israel Defense Forces has placed restrictions on residents of Dir Abu Mashal, where the three assailants lived, since Friday. Residents ages 15 to 25 are not allowed entry into or exit from the village. After the attack, the work permits of the assailants’ relatives were revoked, and 250,000 daily entry permits for West Bank Palestinians into Israel, which were given during the Ramadan holiday, were canceled.

The attacks took place in two different places in Jerusalem. At one site, two gunmen shot at policemen and tried to stab them, after which they were shot to death. At the second site, an assailant stabbed Malka and was shot to death by soldiers. A policeman in his 20s was stabbed in the eye, suffering a light injury. Two East Jerusalem residents were also wounded, with a 40-year-old man suffering moderate injuries and a 22-year-old being lightly injured by a bullet wound to the back. Another young woman suffered from shock.

According to a Shin Bet announcement, the assailants were As’ama Ata, 19, Bra’a Salah, 17, and Adel Ankoush. The army said the three belonged to a local terror cell. The Shin Bet added that they had been previously been arrested for “terrorist activity.”