Israel captures Elad terrorists after four-day manhunt

IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police say in a joint statement As’ad Alrafa’ani and Sabhi Abu Shakir were caught hiding behind a bush in a quarry near Elad, exhausted and dehydrated; 'We promised we will lay our hands on them, and so we did,' Bennett says

Israel on Sunday said it has captured the two terrorists who carried out the deadly attack in the predominantly Haredi city of Elad last week.
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  • As’ad Alrafa’ani (19) and Sabhi Abu Shakir (20), both from Rumana near the city of Jenin, stabbed three people to death with an axe and a knife on Thursday evening before fleeing the scene and prompting a massive manhunt.
    Footage of the capture
    (Video: Shmulik Dodfour)
    The two were apprehended on Sunday morning hiding behind a bush in a quarry near Elad, having not eaten or drunk any water for nearly 60 hours with the axe used in the attack lying meters away.
    The two were caught by special forces and commando units using helicopters and other means.
    "The two terrorists who murdered three Israeli civilians in the deadly attack in the city of Elad have been caught," said in a joint statement the IDF, Shin Bet and the Israel Police.
    The two had been detained and taken for further questioning by the security forces.
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    המבחלים שנתפסו
    המבחלים שנתפסו
    Elad terrorists being captured
    Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai praised security forces for nabbing the two terrorists responsible for the deaths of Yonatan Havakuk, 44, Boaz Gol, 49, and Oren Ben Yiftah, 35, all fathers who leave behind 16 orphans.
    "The manhunt for the terrorists is over. Our intense activity immediately after the terror attack, using hundreds of security personnel, forced them to hide in one spot, and that is what lead us to them," Shabtai said.
    "We said we won't rest until they are captured. Every terrorist must know that Israel's reach is long and we will find anyone who will harm the citizens of the Jewish State. We are determined to continue fighting terror, and I thank all the security personnel who went through sleepless nights in order to capture the terrorists."
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also praised the security forces in the wake of the successful operation. "We promised we will lay our hands on them, and so we did," he said at the start of the cabinet meeting.
    2 View gallery
     ישיבת ממשלה
     ישיבת ממשלה
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a cabinet meeting on Sunday
    "These terrorists were incited to brutally murder with unimaginable cruelty and they were captured wretched near a forest in the area. But their capture isn't enough, we are on the verge of a new stage in the war against terror. We won't allow inciting others from afar without consequences," Bennett added, referring to Hamas officials in Gaza.
    At least 18 Israelis have been killed in five attacks since March, including another stabbing rampage in southern Israel, two shootings in the Tel Aviv area, and a shooting last weekend in a West Bank city of Ariel.
    Nearly 30 Palestinians have died in violence - most of whom had carried out attacks or were involved in confrontations with Israeli forces in the West Bank.

    Associated Press contributed to this report
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