Sgt. First Class Amit Ben Yigal
First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal
Photo: Social media
First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal

Israel announces arrest of soldier's alleged killer

First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal, 21, was killed last month when a block was hurled at his head during an arrest operation in a West Bank village; detainee is a resident of the house from which the attack was mounted

Yoav Zitun, Itay Blumenthal |
Published: 06.07.20, 20:11
The Shin Bet security service said Sunday that Israel has apprehended the Palestinian who threw a large block at the head of IDF First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal during an arrest operation in the West Bank last month, killing him.
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  • The detainee was identified as Namzi Abu Bakr, a 49-year-old resident of the house in Yabed village from which the 21-year-old soldier was attacked.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    Sgt. First Class Amit Ben Yigal
    Sgt. First Class Amit Ben Yigal
    First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal
    (Photo: Social media)
    The arrest was conducted jointly with the IDF and Israel Police, the Shin Bet said.
    Baruch Ben Yigal, Amit's father, said he felt enormous relief when he was informed that his son's alleged killer had been detained.
    "When they told me he had been caught, I screamed inside the car. I felt a joy filled with sadness," he said.
    "I haven't slept in a month and the phone has always been switched on. Since then I haven't slept day or night, and this has been the only thing occupying me," he said.
    "It's an important phone call for me and for us as parents. This person has upended our lives. This is seeing light at the end of the tunnel."
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    הלווית החייל שנהרג עמית בן יגאל
    הלווית החייל שנהרג עמית בן יגאל
    Baruch Ben Yogal at the funeral of his son Amit
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin also both welcomed the detention.
    "I would like to commend the IDF, the Shin Bet and the security forces for catching the lowly killer of the late Amit Ben Yigal," Netanyahu said.
    "We will act uncompromisingly against terrorism and its perpetrators to keep Israelis safe," the president said on Twitter.
    Ben Yigal and his comrades from a reconnaissance unit of the Golani Brigade were conducting the overnight arrest of four terror suspects in the village on May 11.
    As the troops were leaving the village a large stone was hurled off the roof of one of the buildings, hitting Ben Yigal and injuring him critically.
    The soldier was transferred to the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa where he was pronounced dead.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    המחבל נמזי אבו בכר
    המחבל נמזי אבו בכר
    Namzi Abu-Bakr is accused of killing IDF soldier Amit Ben Yigal last month
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    The IDF, which had vowed to catch the killer, detained more than 10 residents from the building where the block was thrown.
    Abnu Bakr was one of those detained by Ben Yigal's Golani comrades, but denied involvement.
    An investigation by the Shin Bet determined, however, that he had thrown the block from the roof of the building.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    IDF troops hunting for the killer of First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal in the West Bank
    IDF troops hunting for the killer of First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal in the West Bank
    IDF troops hunting for the killer of First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal in the West Bank
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Ben Yigal, who was killed one month before the end of his service, was laid to rest in Be'er Yaakov cemetery.
    Then-Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and senior IDF officials attended his funeral.

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