President-Elect Donald Trump’s promise to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may have incited the terrorist who carried out Sunday’s truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem. Four IDF soldiers were killed in the attack, with at least 16 others injured.
According to a Times of Israel report Monday, the terrorist, 28-year-old Fadi al-Qunbar, was incited by a sermon criticizing Trump’s proposal. A cousin said Qunbar was “very angry, and said transferring the embassy would lead to war.”
The sermon in question was delivered at Qunbar’s East Jerusalem mosque by Mahmoud al-Abbash, the Palestinian Authority’s supreme Sharia judge. PA President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly in attendance as well.
“Occupied Jerusalem is our eternal capital, the capital of our existence and the capital of our state,” Al Abbash said in the speech. “In matters of religion, faith, values, ethics, and history, there can be no compromises. Therefore, it isn’t possible to compromise on or negotiate over Jerusalem. We will not agree to this under any circumstances. This will not pass in silence.”
Trump’s pledge to relocate the Embassy (a promise made, but never fulfilled, by previous presidents) has stirred controversy in the Arab world, with Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat threatening to resign effective immediately if the relocation takes place.
In a statement after Sunday’s attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the identity of the attacker was known, and that “according to to all the signs he is a supporter of the Islamic State.”
Qunbar himself was shot by soldiers after perpetrating the attack, and later succumbed to his wounds.