Exclusive Channel 2 report: Sheikh who planned terror attack now hopes for peace

A few decades ago, Sheikh Muhammad Jabar planned a terror attack against IDF soldiers, was arrested and sat in an Israeli prison for several years. However, he now preaches against violence and voices support for peace between Israel and the Palestinians from Hebron, a city in the West Bank that is notorious for being a hub for terrorists.
Sheikh Muhammad Jabar in Hebron Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

If you had asked Sheikh Muhammad Jabar years ago what he thinks about Jews, he would have had a simple answer for you: “They should be killed and slaughtered.” In the 1980s, when he was affiliated with Hamas and planned a terror attack against IDF soldiers in Beersheba, his reality was black and white- the Jewish people were his enemies. However, one moment in his life completely changed him and now he hopes for peace between Israel and Palestinians.

The turning point in his life began with the incident due to which he spent a few years in an Israeli prison. Along with a friend, he planned to set off a car bomb at the entrance to an IDF base in Beersheba. While they were observing the base prior to their attack, an IDF soldier approached them and asked what they were doing there. “We’re looking for food,” they said. The soldier did not hesitate and entered the military base’s kitchen and brought them food.

“I looked at my friend and thought, how can we kill someone so good?” Jabar told Channel 2 News’ Ohad Hemo recently. “Not only did he not shoot us, he also helped us and gave us food. Maybe the soldiers aren’t as bad as our leaders are telling us.”

“I started to think, to search for the truth,” he continued. “The things that the sheikhs were saying did not seem fitting at all [anymore].”

Jabar’s life is considerably harder now that his views have changed. He lives in Hebron, a city in the West Bank that is notorious for being a hub for Palestinian terrorists. In the past, residents have attempted to harm him and set fire to his car. “It’s hard for them to accept my opinions because of the political conflict,” he said.

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