An elite Police unit on Tuesday arrested senior Hamas fugitive Ibrahim Ranimat, who has been on Israel's wanted list for the last 10 years for his involvement in a series of terror attacks.
Security officials believe Ranimat to be behind the abduction and murder of Israel Defense Forces soldier Sharon Adri in 1996 and the bombing attack on a Tel Aviv cafe in 1997, in which three Israeli women lost their lives.
Police arrested Ranimat in the village of Tzurif, southwest of Bethlehem.
Ranimat was also involved in a couple of shooting and suicide bombing attacks in which at least three Israelis were killed.
Who is Sharon Edri?
Sharon Edri was a 20-year-old Jewish soldier who went missing on September 9, 1996, after leaving the Tzrifin army base in central Israel at 10:30 p.m. en route to his home in Moshav Zanoah.
A short time after Edri's disappearance an unidentified man phoned the “Red Cross” offices in Gaza and Jerusalem, saying that a cell belonging to Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, kidnapped and murdered the soldier.
However, the security establishment said at the time that the information was unfounded, and police investigators initially assumed that Edri had purposely vanished due to personal issues or a disagreement with his commanders. Then-Jerusalem District Police Commander Aryeh Amit even alluded to the possibility that Edri had committed suicide.
Edri’s family was convinced that Sharon had been kidnapped by terrorists and even met with Palestinian Authority officials, who informed the family that there is no indication Edri is being held by a Palestinian group.
On April 10, 1997, Sharon Edri’s body was found near the West Bank village of Tzurif.
Apropos Cafe attack
On March 21, 1997, a young man entered Tel Aviv’s Apropos Cafe carrying a rucksack and sat down at one of the tables. A minute later he placed the rucksack on the table and proceeded to detonate it; 3 people were killed and 48 others were wounded in the bombing.
Later it was determined that the 28-year-old terrorist came from the village of Tzurif, where Ranimat, the mastermind behind the bombing, was apprehended.