Some 500 Palestinians clashed with IDF forces that raided Nablus Tuesday during a manhunt for Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, the terrorist who stabbed Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal to death Monday at Ariel Junction.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that during the riots Palestinians fired at the forces, lobbed Molotov cocktails and explosive devices at them, hurled stones and built rock barriers.
Security forces responded by firing in the air and deploying crowd control measures to disperse the assembled mob. Forces from the Samaria Regional Division arrested seven Palestinians for questioning.
Palestinian officials say two Palestinians were killed and 29 were wounded.
It was revealed late Tuesday that Assi scouted the scene of the attack 24 hours earlier and even taunted IDF soldiers providing security for a nearby bus station.
The terrorist swore at the solders in Arabic, was kept away from Israeli civilians and was then questioned. After examining his identification and ascertaining that it was Israeli, the soldiers sent the future terrorist on his way.
An initial inquiry into the incident by the IDF turned up that soldiers from the Kfir Brigade, serving in the battalion tasked with the sector's defense, acted immaculately as the terrorist was investigated due to his suspicion conduct.
An eyewitness present on the scene later told Ynet that the terrorist swore at soldiers, saying, "I'll remember your faces, you whores."
"When I saw the terrorist's photo after the attack," the eyewitness added, "I recognized him from the previous day's incident—and remembered how he taunted soldiers."
Assi, 19, an Arab Israeli with an Israeli citizenship, is the son of an Israeli mother and a Palestinian from Nablus. He resided in Jaffa, was abandoned by his parents, became addicted to drugs, and spent the last few years living on the street and in different homeless shelters for youth. He also often went to visit his father in Nablus.
When he was 17, Abed spent three months at a shelter for homeless youth aged 14-21 in Tel Aviv's Neve Tzedek neighborhood operated by the Shanti House, a non-profit organization helping at-risk youth. He left after staff at the shelter urged him not to visit his father in Nablus, because they were concerned he would be taken advantage of by hostile elements.
His mother, a Haifa resident in her forties, called on Assi to turn himself in. speaking to Ynet, she said, "My son has no right to hurt anyone. I condemn what he did, and I call on him to turn himself in, because what he did will not help anyone. On the contrary, he ruined himself and he ruined everything."
Some 1,300 people—family members, friends and supporters—gathered at the Har Brakha settlement Tuesday to accompany Rabbi Ben-Gal to his final resting place.
Ben-Gal's family members wept as his widow, Miriam, had to be physically supported by two relatives.
"I want to promise you that we will be strong," Miriam said. "I will continue raising our children, and we will live with joy, like you wanted."
US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Friedman slammed the Palestinian leadership for the attack. "20 years ago I gave an ambulance to Har Brakha hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies. Instead, a man from Har Brakha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children. Palestinian 'leaders' have praised the killer. Praying for the Ben Gal family," Friedman wrote.
Friedman was joined by President Donald Trump's Envoy to the Middle-East Jason Greenblatt, who tweeted, "Itamar Ben Gal, an Israeli father of four, was stabbed to death by a terrorist while waiting for a bus. I pray for his family and all those affected. Will this attack be condemned or glorified?"
The attack happened close to 2:30pm Monday in the Ariel Junction's bus stop. Footage of the attack showed the terrorist disembarking from a shared taxi, crossing the street, stabbing Ben-Gal and then escaping.
After he was stabbed, Ben-Gal sprinted towards a bus waiting nearby, banged on the door's windshield and collapsed.
Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics, assisted by an IDF medical force, first treated the the victim, who suffered wounds to his upper body, and performed resuscitation on him. He was then taken to the Beilinson Hospital at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, where he was later pronounced dead.
After stabbing Ben-Gal to death, the terrorist threw the knife away and escaped the scene using a vehicle that was waiting for him nearby. Assi's backpack was found on the scene, containing a change of clothes and his Israeli ID card.
Large numbers of IDF troops initially entered the village of Kifl Haris in their search of the terrorist, the Palestinians reported.