Assailant at Kafr Qasim attack buried, with dozens of people including the mayor

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A man who attacked police officers on Friday, wounding three in an alleged act of terror before being shot dead, was laid to rest on Saturday night in his hometown of Kafr Qasim, with dozens of residents chanting chants during the funeral.

Naim Badir’s body was handed over to his family by Israel after a promise to hold a small, quiet funeral attended by no more than 50 people. The mayor of Kafr Qasim, Adel Badir, attended the funeral ceremony, during which mourners chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is the greatest), according to videos posted on social media.

Police said the incident was a terrorist attack, releasing extensive video and audio footage of the scene in the Arab city east of Tel Aviv. Badir’s family, however, vehemently denied that the incident was an attack, accusing the police of “murdering our son in cold blood”.

The mayor had already said: “We need to wait for the reason [to become clear]” before being considered terrorism.

The police footage begins with CCTV footage of the entrance to Badir’s house, with audio of the phone call between the assailant and the approaching police officer.

After calling the police to report a seemingly non-existent domestic violence incident, Badir can be heard directing the officer to a certain location outside the building’s door. The call’s audio cuts out, and Badir is seen exiting the building, pointing a makeshift submachine gun at the officer and attempting to open fire at point-blank range.

With the firearm apparently jammed, Badir is seen retreating back into the building.

The video then cuts to the officer’s helmet-mounted camera as he takes cover, updates a police control center on the incident, and calls for backup.

During that time, according to the police, the attacker threw Molotov cocktails at a police car. Police said they later found several more firebombs on the roof of the building Badir had called officers to.

In the footage, a car engine can be heard as Badir accelerates in a car towards the officers, in reverse, and crashes into another vehicle alongside the police, injuring three officers, before being shot dead.

A knife was later found in the car.

The Ynet news website reported that even after viewing the footage, Badir’s family denied the incident was a premeditated attack and said officers should have shot him in the legs rather than killing him.

An improvised ‘Carlo’ submachine gun used by Naim Badir during an attack on police officers in Kafr Qasim, early December 23, 2022. (Israeli Police)

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said on Friday morning that “police officers reacted quickly and prevented a larger planned attack against police forces”.

Central District Commander Avi Bitton said after an assessment with several security officials, including the Shin Bet security service, “it appears to have been a terrorist attack planned days earlier”.

Naim Badir (Courtesy)

A family statement insisted that “our son did not plan any attacks. It is a fallacious claim by the police to hide their failures in tackling crime in Arab society.”

The incident took place amidst high tensions and regular clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, with most of the violence taking place in the West Bank. It also comes amid a wave of violent crime in Israel’s Arab community.

Molotov cocktails found on the roof of a building where an attack on police officers took place in Kafr Qasim, early December 23, 2022. (Israeli Police)

Earlier this month, a Palestinian hit a motorist in Tel Aviv. Police prosecutors said on Monday they planned to file terrorism charges against the suspect after an investigation found the motive for the incident to be nationalistic.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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