The Shin Bet and IDF arrested two wanted suspects in Ramallah, members of the Popular Front, responsible for the murder of Ita Tzur and her 12 year-old son Ephraim, in a shooting attack ten years ago. A second daughter was seriously injured in the attack and three other family members were lightly wounded.
During a joint operation by security forces, 34 year-old Ibrahim Alikam and 35 year-old Ibrahim Hani were arrested in Ramallah.
The two are the main suspects in carrying out the shooting attack at an Israeli vehicle on December 11, 1996.
After the attack, Alikam and Hani were arrested by the PA and sentenced to life in prison, but were later released, and the security forces have since been attempting to capture them.
Father of family Yoel Tzur with former president Weizman (Archive photo: Zoom 77)
On Tuesday night, during a search carried out in their homes, the suspects were arrested. Two loaded pistols were found, as well as a magazine clip and a knife. The two were taken for interrogation by the security forces.
Father: I knew this day would come
Ita's husband and Ephraim's father Yoel told Ynet: "I thank the security forces, the Central Command chief, the chief of staff and all those involved in capturing the terrorists. I also thank the force operating on the ground, they did a great job. Justice, morality and integrity came to light today… we knew that the security forces will eventually apprehend the terrorists, I knew this day would come."
"It may be ten years later, but we came full circle in my eyes," Lieutenant Colonel Oshri, a combat engineering commander, told Ynet.
"You should see how they live. They lived like dogs, in a building with just two thin mattresses, and cigarettes. That is how they run and hide from house to house. They lived like a married couple, communicating only with themselves, almost not calling family members," said Oshri
"We set out for the operation which was beyond routine, in Ramallah, in order to assemble information. After closing in on a home which looked suspicious, and also due to information received from the Shin Bet, we saw two terrorists trying to jump from one of the balconies. They saw the forces and understood that we were closing in on the house. We carried out an aggressive entry and caught the two terrorists," Oshri added.
"We went out tonight to find more on the case. Six years have passed since they left prison in Jericho, and they have been able to mock the Shin Bet and the IDF." During the attack in 1996, the family set out in a station wagon from the Dolev settlement to its home in Bet El, to light candles for Hanukah. The vehicle was fired upon by a number of vehicles containing terrorists, who filled the car with dozens of rounds, before escaping to Ramallah.