Palestinian halts plan to blow himself up on a bus after finding it full of kids

Published August 15th, 2016 - 02:12 GMT
Jewish men surrounded by police at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
Jewish men surrounded by police at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

SPOILER ALERT.

The famed Palestinian film Paradise Now tells the tale of two youth who seek to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel. But one man backs out and the film ends with a shot of the other alone on a bus, bomb equipped. The viewers are left to wonder if he ever detonated himself.

A similar incident occurred in Jerusalem this week. On Sunday, a Palestinian man entered a bus in Jerusalem with the goal of blowing himself and everyone onboard to bits. But upon seeing it full of Jewish children, the man stopped himself from carrying out the mission and got off the bus. He was then arrested.

Israeli Hebrew-language media reported on the incident, and the story was then picked up by Arabic-language outlets. “I wanted to carry out an attack on the bus in Jerusalem, but there were so many small kids on it. For that reason I decided to get off the bus,” the now detained Ali Abu al-Hassan told Israeli media.

On why he decided to attempt the attack in the first place, al-Hassan said he was angry about Jewish settlers entering the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is extremely holy to both religious Jews and Muslims. Traditionally, it has only been open to Muslims, but recently, religious Jews have been entering the compound to pray, causing much tension in Jerusalem.

Last October, stabbing attacks by Palestinians against soldiers, police and Jewish civilians erupted in Jerusalem and the West Bank, in addition to general demonstrations by Palestinians and settler attacks against Palestinian civilians and right-wing Jewish demonstrations. The violence was spurred by tensions at the Temple Mount, as well as ongoing issues pertaining to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

After leaving the bus, al-Hassan went to a restaurant and was later picked up by Israeli security officials, in whose custody he presumably remains.

AL


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