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Hamas says Jerusalem shooter was affiliated to the movement

Oct. 9, 2016 6:16 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 10, 2016 10:57 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas said Sunday afternoon that Misbah Abu Sbeih, shot dead earlier in the day by Israeli police after he carried out a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem that left two Israelis dead and several others injured, was a member of its Islamic resistance movement.

In a statement, the Hamas movement in the occupied West Bank "proudly announced" that its "son" -- meaning their member -- and "Mujahid" (struggler), Misbah Abu Sbeih, "died a martyr." 

The statement applauded Abu Sbeih, describing him as one of the "great figures of Jerusalem, and one of the city's best people, who sacrificed his soul and his money defending Jerusalem."

The statement highlighted that Abu Sbeih carried out the shooting attack a day after the anniversary of Al-Aqsa Mosque massacre in 1990 during the third year of the First Intifada, which resulted in the death of over 20 Palestinians, with more than 150 injured. "This is evidence that the Palestinian people will never forget or ignore any crime committed against the holy city," the statement said.

The 39-year-old Jerusalemite told Ma'an a day prior to carrying out the shooting that he had decided to turn himself in to Israeli authorities to face charges over allegedly assaulting an Israeli police officer at the mosque in 2013.

Abu Sbeih had formerly been imprisoned by Israel over charges of "incitement" for Facebook posts that included statements such as: "We sacrifice our souls and our blood for you Al-Aqsa," and, "we sacrifice our children for Al-Aqsa."

Israel recently reached an agreement with Facebook to collaborate to censor content that Israel considers as promoting "terrorism," as Israel has already detained scores of Palestinians in recent months for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by "incitement." 

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

Hamas -- alongside a number of other Palestinian factions -- have said the wave of attacks by Palestinians against Israeli targets were a "natural reaction" to the ongoing Israeli military occupation.
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