Arms seized in raid on suspected shooters

Israeli security forces arrest suspects in deadly Ariel terror shooting

Two suspects detained without resistance in a raid in nearby Palestinian town and their weapons seized at the tail end of a rigorous day-long manhunt; 'We will not let terror rear its head,' Lapid says

Yoav Zitun, Yossi Yehoshua |
Published: 04.30.22, 20:22
IDF troops and counterterrorism officers arrested two Palestinians on Saturday suspected to have carried out the deadly shooting that claimed the life of an Israeli security guard outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel the night before.
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  • The suspects were arrested in the nearby Palestinian town of Qarawat Bani Hassan. The two did not put up any resistance and both their weapons were also seized in the raid.
    Counterterrorism officers searching after Ariel shooters
    (Video: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    They were taken in by the Shin Bet security agency for further questioning.
    Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai praised the officers for capturing the alleged attackers in less than 24 hours.
    "The arrest tonight is a determined message that embodies Israel Police's policy, which operates on all fronts and with all its units, including the special units, in order to thwart acts of terrorism and arrest anyone who harms or seeks to harm Israeli citizens and members of the security forces," he said.
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also tweeted to praise the swift action and added that "every terrorist should know that the security forces will get them, their accomplices and those who sent them. We will not let terror rear its head."
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    תיעוד הירי, כלי הנשק שנתפסו במעצר המחבלים מהפיגוע באריאל
    תיעוד הירי, כלי הנשק שנתפסו במעצר המחבלים מהפיגוע באריאל
    Arms seized in raid on suspected shooters
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    On Friday night, two assailants pulled up at the settlement's gate armed with Carl Gustav submachine guns and opened fire at the guard shack. They then got out of the vehicle and shot the 23-year-old guard from point-blank.
    The guard shielded his partner with his body and took three of at least ten bullets fired, killing him.
    One of the gunmen then ran back to the car, made a U-turn and picked up the other assailant, who was waiting for him on the other side of the road.
    Tomer Fein, a paramedic for the Magen David Adom ambulance service, who was among the first to arrive at the scene, said: “When we arrived, we saw a man - unconscious with gunshot wounds. He was not breathing and did not have a pulse. We performed medical tests and had to pronounce his death."
    4 View gallery
    כוחות צה''ל עצרו את המחבלים שביצעו את הפיגוע באריאל
    כוחות צה''ל עצרו את המחבלים שביצעו את הפיגוע באריאל
    Israeli troops stop and search cars in West Bank as part of manhunt after Ariel shooters
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    According to footage from the scene, the two did not enter Ariel itself and fled in the direction of a nearby village.
    They arrived at the entrance to the settlement in a blue Suzuki with Israeli license plates, which apparently belonged in the past to a car that was taken off the road. The terrorists' vehicle was later found after being set on fire and abandoned.
    The IDF launched a manhunt after the gunmen and surrounded the Palestinian town of Salfit south of Ariel. Security forces searched everyone entering and leaving the town.
    Hamas welcomed the attack and said that "Ariel was built on our occupied lands in Salfit. This attack and the ongoing resistance operations dispel the illusions of those who thought that the settlers' actions and daily crimes against our people, our country and our holy places would go without an answer from the resistance."
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    הפיגוע בכניסה לאריאל
    הפיגוע בכניסה לאריאל
    The scene of the attack in Ariel
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    Meanwhile, a video was released showing a masked man in military fatigue accepting responsibility for the attack on behalf of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement. The authenticity of the video is unclear.
    The attack in Ariel joins a spate of Islamist terrorist attacks in Israeli cities since late March which claimed the lives of 15 Israelis.
    On April 7, Tomer Morad and Eitam Magini, 27-year-old childhood friends from Kfar Saba, were shot dead by a Palestinian gunman while out for a drink at a Tel Aviv pub.
    Hours later, 35-year-old Barak Lufan, a father of three from Givat Shmuel who was critically wounded in the attack, succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.
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    זירת פיגוע הירי בתל אביב
    זירת פיגוע הירי בתל אביב
    Police outside Tel Aviv pub targeted in terrorist attack
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    The terrorist was located hours after the attack hiding outside a mosque in Tel Aviv's Jaffa and was killed in a firefight after shooting at Israeli forces.
    Two days earlier, Border Police officers Yazan Fallah and Shiral Aboukaret were killed by two Islamic State-affiliated Israeli terrorists from Umm al-Fahm who ambushed them at a bus stop in Hadera. The terrorists were killed by Border Police officers and a Shin Bet operative who were dining at a nearby restaurant and heard the shooting.
    The week before, four Israelis were killed in a ramming and stabbing attack at an outdoor shopping mall in Be'er Sheva carried out by an Islamic-State affiliated Israeli resident of the Bedouin town of Hura in the southern Negev region. The attacker was shot and killed by two armed civilians at the scene.
    Following the attacks, Israel launched a series of counterterrorism crackdowns in the West Bank, dubbed Operation Breakwater.
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