The Israeli military early Wednesday arrested the wife of Muntasir Shalabi, suspected of carrying out a shooting attack in the West Bank earlier this week, as the manhunt for the alleged terrorist continues.
The IDF said his wife was detained by troops in a raid on the village of Turmusayya on a night between Tuesday and Wednesday. His 17-year old son was detained earlier this week.
According to state broadcaster KAN, Shalabi has only returned to the Palestinian Territories a year ago, having lived in the United States for many years.
Shalabi is believed to have shot three Israeli 19-year old Yeshiva students at the Tapuach Junction near the settlement of Itamar on Sunday. Two of the wounded remain hospitalized in serious condition, while the third has already been released from hospital, having been lightly hurt.
The vehicle believed to have been used in the attack was torched by Palestinians after it was abandoned in the village of Aqraba near Nablus. Several Palestinian residents of the village were arrested on Monday on suspicion that they provided shelter and other assistance to Shalabi on the run.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz who visited troops in the area on Tuesday said the military remains on high alert after the attack. "We will apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice," Gantz said.
"We will spare no effort to protect the security of Israeli citizens but at the same time take steps to assist Palestinians in the West Bank in their quest for economic advancement and a resolution to the health crisis, because it is in our own interest," Gantz said.
The IDF, which is concerned that violent incidents will increase in the West Bank over the cancellation of the Palestinian elections, has deployed additional troops to the area of Ramallah and Nablus. The military said the troops will remain there at least until the suspected terrorist is apprehended and tensions subside.
They were also worried that with the holy month of Ramadan nearing its end, and the Jerusalem Day celebrations due to take place next week, the probability of violent riots has grown.
The Hamas terror organization, which believed it would have won the elections had they been allowed to take place, has threatened violence after Abbas's announcement.
Israel on Tuesday said it would indefinitely suspend access of Jews to Temple Mount in an effort to prevent clashes between extreme right-wing activists and Palestinians.
First published: 07:47, 05.05.21