Terrorist who murdered Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal captured
Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, who stabbed Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal to death at the Ariel Junction last month, caught in Nablus overnight along with several other suspects who helped him hide; 'Let every murderous terrorist know we will get to him and settle the score with him,' says Defense Minister Lieberman.
Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, 29, was murdered in a stabbing attack near the entrance to the settlement of Ariel early last month. He is survived by his wife, Miriam, and their four children.
Al-Karim, 19, an Israeli-Arab resident of Jaffa, arrived at the Ariel Junction bus stop on February 5 and, with no apparent hesitation, stabbed Ben Gal from behind.
After he was stabbed, Ben Gal ran to a bus that stopped at a station nearby while al-Karim gave chase. Reaching the bus, the rabbi knocked on its door for help before immediately collapsing.
The terrorist then fled the scene. An off duty IDF officer who witnessed the attack then chased the assailant in his car and rammed him.
Despite being hit, al-Karim was able to escape with the help of an unidentified driver who picked him up near the scene of the incident.
Al-Karim was arrested in a joint operation by forces from the Shin Bet, the Israel Police's counterterrorism unit Yamam, and the IDF's Samaria Territorial Brigade, which was launched immediately after the attack.
Over the past month, raids were carried out to arrest accomplices, while at the same time the Shin Bet and IDF continued their intelligence effort to track the terrorist.
"The IDF and the security forces will continue working to protect the security of the residents and will work to thwart terror attacks against the citizens of Israel," the IDF Spokesman's Office said following the arrest.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed satisfaction of the terrorist's capture, saying, "We've come full circle. Let every murderous terrorist know we will get to him and settle the score with him. I congratulate the security forces for a successful intelligence operation."
Miriam Ben Gal, the rabbi's widow, said following the terrorist's capture that, "Truthfully, I don't feel anything. It won't bring (Itamar) back home. And it won't prevent another terrorist from rising and murdering again and destroying another family."
She called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve the construction of 800 housing units in Har Brakha, where she lives, saying it would be "the real answer to Itamar's murder."
Forces from the IDF's Menashe Territorial Brigade continued operating in the Barta'a village area in the wake of the car-ramming terror attack near the village of Ya'bad, which claimed the lives of two IDF soldiers—Lieutenant Ziv Daus, 21, of Azur, and Sergeant Netanel Kahalani, 20, of Elyakim.
The troops searched for illegal weapons in several locations in the village, where terrorist Alaa Kabha is from, and found gun parts and a makeshift air gun.
In Beit Sahour, troops from the Etzion Territorial Brigade seized thousands of shekels of terror funds.
Also overnight Saturday, security forces arrested eight wanted Palestinians who are suspected of involvement in terror activity and violent rioting against Israeli citizens and security forces. The suspects were taken in for questioning.