Israeli police have detained the coach of a Palestinian soccer team that last week was photographed with a banner hailing a Palestinian terrorist responsible for killing two Israelis.
Maher Abu Sanina, who was charged with inciting terrorism, heads the Jerusalem-based Palestinian soccer team Hilal Al Quds whose members posed for the picture last Tuesday, two days after Mesbah Abu Sabih carried out his deadly attack.
In a move that caused uproar among Israeli officials, Hilal Al Quds posted a photo to its Facebook page of its players holding up a banner featuring Abu Sabih before a match at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in al-Ram in the West Bank.
“The Hilal al-Quds soccer club mourns the loss of the lion of al-Aqsa [Jerusalem], the martyr and hero Mesbah Abu Sabih,” the banner said.
Two people were killed and six more injured, in the attack carried out by Abu Sabih near Ammunition Hill site in Jerusalem. The Palestinian assailant was shot dead by Israeli security forces while trying to flee.
Police identified one of the victims as 29-year-old Sergeant First Class Yosef Kirma, who was a member of the police special forces. Israeli media named the second victim as Lavana Malichi, 60.
According to Israeli news website Ynet, a spokesman for the team said that fans of the team brought the banner to the game because they were “outraged” at Abu Sabih’s death.
Last week's terror attack broke a period of relative calm in the Israeli capital.
Last year's Jewish high holidays led to clashes and marked the start of an upsurge in Palestinian gun, knife and car-ramming attacks, which lasted for several months.
Violence since October 2015 has killed at least 231 Palestinians, 38 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national.