The Israeli army has arrested the father of an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber who killed nine people in an attack the day before in Tel Aviv.
Samih Hamad, 51, was arrested in an invasion by Israeli forces of his home village of Arqa, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, early Tuesday morning, local sources said.
His 21-year-old son Samir blew himself up on Monday lunchtime at a fast food stall in Tel Aviv in what was the deadliest Palestinian attack for 20 months.
Both the bombers’ parents told Agence France Presse on Monday that they had no idea about their sons’ intentions. Samiya Hamad, the boy’s mother, said there had been no warning signs that her son was getting involved with this group.
Hamad’s family said he had studied social work but was forced to quit because of money problems. The bomber’s mother said he left the house several days ago without telling her where he was headed.
Hamed had graduated from high school and studied social work through a distance-learning program of al-Quds University, but was forced to drop out because his parents could not afford to support him, said his mother. After leaving the university, he took different jobs, including at an area restaurant, the family said.
In a video released by the Islamic Jihad, Hamad said the bombing was dedicated to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. "There are many other bombers on the way," he said.
Monday was marked as Prisoners Day in the Palestinian areas.
After learning of the bombing, the Hamad began moving furniture and belongings out of their home, for fear it would be demolished by the Israeli Army. Israeli forces regularly demolish the homes of the family members of Palestinians who have attacked Israel, a "collective punishment" that has been condemned by international human rights groups and the International Court of Justice.
Israel justifies the practice of home demolitions, saying it deters potential attackers – a claim that is disputed by the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, who say that there is no evidence that the demolition of the homes of family members of bombers has ever deterred a single attack.