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Israeli forces detain slain Palestinian gunman's 17-year-old daughter

Oct. 10, 2016 10:31 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2016 3:51 P.M.)
A screenshot of a video showing 17-year-old Eiman Abu Sbeih reacting to the death of her father Misbah Abu Sbeih after he carried out a deadly shooting attack in East Jerusalem.
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained on Monday the teenage daughter of a Palestinian gunman who was killed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem while carrying out a deadly shooting a day earlier.

Misbah Abu Sbeih, 39, killed an Israeli police officer and an Israeli woman, and injured at least five other people during a drive-by shooting attack in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. He was then shot and killed by Israeli police on the scene.

The shooting attack came a day after Abu Sbeih told Ma'an that he intended to turn himself in to serve a prison sentence over charges that he assaulted an Israeli police officer in 2013.

Israeli forces raided the village of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Monday morning and detained Abu Sbeih’s 17-year-old daughter Eiman.

Eiman was initially erroneously reported to have been 14 years old.

Israeli soldiers questioned Eiman and Abu Sbeih’s wife for more than an hour before taken the teenager into custody, relatives told Ma’an.

Israeli forces also informed the family that Abu Sbeih’s sons Izz al-Din and Sbeih were summoned for questioning.

A video of Eiman hailing her father’s actions went viral on social media on Sunday.

"We deem my father as martyr,” she said in the video. “We hope he will plead for us before God on judgment day… I am proud of what my father did."

Eiman said that on the day Abu Sbeih carried out the shooting, she performed dawn prayers with her father before bidding him farewell, as she expected him to turn himself in to Israeli custody.

"I asked if he wanted me to visit him in prison, and he replied: ‘Take care of your prayers and your studies, and I wish that you excel in your studies,’" she recalled in the video.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma'an that one Palestinian was detained on Monday morning in al-Ram, but could not provide further information on their identity.

Locals told Ma'an that Palestinian youth from al-Ram threw stones at Israeli troops during the Monday morning raid in al-Ram. Israeli forces used large amounts of tear gas and stun grenades during the raid. No casualties were reported during the military operation.

Israeli forces  had stormed the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and detained Abu Sbeih's father and two of his brothers on Sunday afternoon. One of Abu Sbeih's brothers, Taysir, was reportedly released on Sunday after questioning.

Abu Sbeih, a resident of Silwan, relocated to al-Ram recently after he was banned from East Jerusalem for a month on Oct. 2. He had previously been banned from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for six months, and in July, he was also issued a travel ban until the end of the year.

Hamas said on Sunday afternoon that Abu Sbeih was a member of its Islamic resistance movement.

Meanwhile, the Fatah movement in Jerusalem declared a day of mourning for slain Palestinians on Sunday afternoon following Abu Sbeih’s death.

Fatah said in a statement it rejected Israeli forces’ killing of Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem, and that it would never leave the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the Old City to “fall prey” to Israeli “extremists and terrorists”

According to sources in East Jerusalem, Abu Sbeih was a prominent local activist and known to some as “the Lion of Jerusalem” for being on the “front lines” in “defending” the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City.

Tensions around occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound were a main contributor to a wave of unrest that began last October, after right-wing Israelis made frequent visits to the site during the Jewish holiday season this time last year.

According to Ma'an documentation, Abu Sbeih was the 232nd Palestinian to be killed by Israelis amid the violence, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians. The violence has mostly been characterized by small-scale attacks with knives or similar weapons.

However, a number of attempted and actual shooting attacks have targeted Israelis over the past year. A total of 17 Palestinians have been killed while committing shooting attacks, while 16 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian gunmen.
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