Nativ was murdered in the attack after being hit with an axe by a terrorist who infiltrated the community, and a seven-year-old boy was lightly injured. Following the attack, the IDF launched an extensive search in the area and asked all residents to remain in their homes.
The suspect, 26-year-old Moussa Tit of the West Bank village of Khirbet Safa, said he carried out the attack for religious reasons and wanted to die as a martyr. He told his investigators he purchased the axe about two weeks before the attack, hid in a wadi near bat Ayin, and collected it on the morning of the attack.
Terrorist holding his will (photo courtesy of defense establishment)
After infiltrating the settlement, the terrorist said, he spotted children and began attacking them one after the other.
At first he stabbed Nativ with a knife and then proceeded to attack Gamliel with an axe. He went on to attack another child, who managed to get away. At this stage, after the community's residents began struggling with him, the terrorist fled the scene towards his village.
In his investigation the terrorist said he had destroyed some of the evidence linking him to the attack and that after the incident he proceeded with his normal life, believing he would not be captured. He presented his investigators with a will he wrote about a week and a half before the attack.
Victim's family demands death sentence
Shlomo Nativ's family demanded that the man who murdered their son be sentenced to death. "Such a despicable murderer should not remain alive," said Shlomo's brother, Adam.
He told Ynet, "We mustn't allow such an incident to be repeated. We mustn't let this become a routine. We must do everything so that this doesn't happen again, and instead of being on the defensive all the time, we must be on the offensive in order to deter."
The victim's brother said that a rise in the number of terror attacks in the West Bank has been recorded recently, and that something must be done. "We are now in a 'blossoming' period, called popular terror. Only the past three weeks saw seven or eight incidents with intention to murder," he said.
"The defense establishment is trying to deal with this terror with fortification and defense and attempts to obtain early intelligence. These attempts are doomed to fail. Today we see the failure on the ground. No one has pressed the brakes in order to stop this terrible and murderous wave."
He added that only deterrence would stop terror. "It can happen in Israel at any given moment. A man wakes up in the morning with a hammer, scalpel, tractor. This can only be stopped by creating strong deterrence against all the potential popular terrorists," he said.
"Five terrorists have emerged from the village from where the terrorist who killed my brother came from. We demand that the houses of all the terrorists who came from this village be demolished. It has already been proven that such treatment will cause make a terrorist refrain from carrying out the attack, if only for the sake of convenience.
"The second thing we demand is that this terrorist is sentenced to death and is not allowed to sit in prison and complete his studies with an option to be freed in a prisoner release."
Adam Nativ said that when his parents heard that their son's murderer had been seized they expressed appreciation to the defense establishment, but also felt that an opportunity had been missed by the fact that the terrorist was still alive.
Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said in response to the arrest, "We commend the security forces for their swift and efficient action. The terror attack was indicative of the atmosphere within the Palestinian population, which encourages the murder of innocent Israelis."