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Photo: Gil Yohanan
Seaching for suspects in Tapuah
Photo: Gil Yohanan
3 youths detained in wake of attack
Police arrest youngsters in West Bank settlement of Tapuah; publication ban imposed on details of investigation
TAPUAH – Investigation under way: Police detained three youngsters aged 15-17 in the West Bank settlement of Tapuah Thursday evening in connection with the bus attack in Shfaram, which left four people dead.

 

The three were expected to be brought before a judge Friday and their remand extended.

 

Meanwhile, a publication ban has been imposed on all details related to the police investigation in Tapuah. Notably, the terrorist who carried out the bus attack, Eden Natan Zada from Rishon Lezion, has been living in Tapuah for the past two weeks.

 

Gentle, not extreme

 

Tapuah spokesman Moshe Meirsdof told Ynet: "Once this settlement was considered to be a radical right stronghold, but this hasn't been the case for years. The families here are not radical, but rather, moderate."

 

"Every time they try to taint us and portray us as extremists," he said.

 

Another Tapuah resident and friend of Natan Zada, Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, told Ynet Thursday the attacker was “true to his name” – Eden

means ‘gentle’ in Hebrew – adding that “he was a gentle person, humble, shy, and one who cared."

 

"He was very frustrated and desperate, and tried to escape the draft,” said Ben-Yaakov. “But they didn’t let him go. He was against the disengagement, and he pleaded for the army to release him, but it didn’t help. He also sat in prison, but they still didn’t release him.”

 

'This is an anomaly'

 

In Shfaram, residents are mourning the death of the four attack victims, with many locals remaining awake all night and lighting candles in memory of those killed.

 

City Hall Director General Omar Malek told Ynet: "We're in shock and planning how to make it through the day with the funerals and go on living. I hope we get through this. This is an anomaly that only represents the murder himself."

 

"We always believed in coexistence and we'll continue with this despite and because of this incident," he said. "We'll strengthen our belief in coexistence."

 

Families to receive National Insurance payments

 

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has already instructed the National Insurance Institute and all other relevant bodies to treat the murder in Shfaram as a terror attack. Therefore, bereaved families and the injured would receive the assistance guaranteed by law in such cases.

 

Knesset Chairman Reuven Rivlin (Likud) has meanwhile decided to place the attack on the Knesset's agenda during its upcoming session on Wednesday. Other issues expected to be discussed in the meeting include disengagement under fire, the removal of graves from Gaza, and local corruption levels.

 

The IDF is also looking into the turn of events that led to Thursday's attack and has designated a colonel to investigate the affair.

 

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