Ashraf Na'alwa, who murdered Ziv Hagbi and Kim Levengrond Yehezkel in the Barkan industrial area earlier this month, was part of a terror cell, which the defense establishment failed to detect beforehand, and not a "lone wolf" as it was assumed in the beginning, security officials have said.
The terrorist was granted a work permit after being vetted by Israeli security officials, who did not find any ties to terrorism in his past.
But now it appears Na'alwa was a part of a terror cell, which is not affiliated with any of the terror organizations.
The fact Na'alwa was not caught immediately after the attack, and that security forces have so far been unable to gather intelligence about his whereabouts, indicate the terrorist is receiving help from accomplices, who aided his escape from the scene and are helping him evade capture.
So far, security forces have arrested several members of the assailant's family, friends and acquaintances. Last week, Palestinian media outlets reported that the IDF arrested a suspect defined as an "accomplice" near Tulkarm. But Israel is yet to confirm the report.
The Shin Bet, meanwhile, have rejected the definition of a "terror cell" being behind the Barkan terror attack, prefering instead to use the term "collaborators."
Since the Barkan terror attack, there has been a certain increase in the number of attempts by "lone wolf" attackers to carry out copycat attacks.
After a Palestinian woman, Aisha al-Rawbi, was reportedly killed by Jewish settlers who hurled stones at a vehicle she and her husband were in near Tapuach junction on October 12, there was a spike in attempted attacks.