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Palestinian arrested for planning truck-ramming says he 'did it for Al Aqsa'

Israeli police detained a man who allegedly stole a truck in order to commit ramming attacks, October 20, 2017
Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit
The assailant allegedly stole a truck with plans to attack soldiers in central Israel

A Palestinian arrested by Israeli police on Friday on suspicion of planning to commit an imminent truck-ramming attack said he did it "because of what is happening at Al Aqsa". 

Israeli police located the 39-year-old Ramallah resident, who was reportedly attempting to drive to the central city of Rishon LeZion, after a truck was reported stolen in the nearby city of Holon.

A police video showed police cars blocked the vehicle and hauling out the driver. He reportedly confessed to stealing the vehicle in order to commit a ramming attack against Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in central Israel.

Later in court, he told reporters that "I came and took a truck and wanted to hurt the soldiers because of what you are doing at Al-Aqsa," according to Channel Two.

"I do not regret it, even if I sit in jail," he reportedly added. 

Palestinians believe that Israel is trying to reassert control over Jerusalem's Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif compound, which has been administered by the Jordan-based Islamic Waqf since Israel took control over the city in 1967.  

The Israeli government denies the claims and maintains it has no intention of curbing the Waqf's authority or easing a ban on Jewish prayer on the site, which is considered the holiest in Judaism and the third-most sacred in Islam. 

A wave of car-ramming attacks swept through the country in 2015 with a spike in attempted ramming attacks targeting IDF soldier and civilians. 

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