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IDF arrest suspects involved in shooting attack

What happened: Over the weekend the terrorists who killed Yehuda Dimentman in a shooting attack near Homesh on Thursday evening were captured.

  • On Saturday night six Palestinians were arrested in the village Silat al-Harithiya in northern West Bank. Four of the suspects are believed to have been directly involved in the attack, while the other two helped them. During the operation, the guns used in the attack were also retrieved.
  • Last night IDF troops returned to the village to “map out” the terrorists’ home, designating it for destruction. Whilst there the soldiers came under attack from stone throwing and live fire, but no injuries were reported.
  • In parallel last night, hundreds of settlers rioted at the entrance of former settlement Homesh. They broke through the IDF checkpoints accessing the site.
  • Yesterday  more details emerged of the shooting ambush.  The driver of the car, managed to maintain control of the vehicle, even though the car was struck with around 30 bullets, he fled the scene, saving his own life and two other passengers.  However Dimentman, who was shot in the neck, died of his wounds.
  • Earlier on Saturday, there was another attempted stabbing attack, at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The assailant was a 65-year-old woman from the village of Idna. She attacked a 38-year-old man walking with his 12-year-old son. The father managed to resist, before security forces arrested her.

Context: Israel remains on alert over concern of more “copycat” attacks. There have been eight attacks, including two shooting, stabbings and car rammings in the last month.

  • Homesh was one of four northern West Bank settlements that was evacuated as part of Israel’s 2005 disengagement plan. Although the settlement no longer exists, the site is regularly visited and serves as a makeshift yeshiva.
  • As in the past, in response to Dimentman’s death, there was also an effort to establish a new outpost. The site was named Nofei Yehuda, situated in the southern West Bank close to Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.  The unauthorised outpost was taken down hours later on the orders of the IDF, and the area was subsequently designated as a closed military zone.
  • According to Haaretz, two of the suspects accused of committing the shooting are brothers Omar and Rayat Jaradat, aged 20 and 17 respectively. Their uncle, Salah Jaradat, was a prominent Islamic Jihad member in Jenin who was killed by the IDF in 2003.
  • The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad in Jenin, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was meant to avenge the death of Jamil Kayyal who was killed by Israeli security forces in Nablus last week.
  • Although shooting attacks like the one that killed Yehuda Dimentman are relatively rare, stone throwing attacks on West Bank roads are a regular phenomenon that can also have deadly consequences.

Looking ahead: The IDF has announced new rules of engagement when dealing with those throwing stones and Molotov cocktails in the West Bank. From now on, soldiers will be given permission to shoot at people who throw stones and firebombs. The new rules state that shots can only be fired “at the scene,” immediately after the incident and only in incidents in which the soldier’s lives are in danger.

  • The new rules also allow for the IDF to shoot at people stealing live ammunition and weaponry from IDF bases. According to Walla News 70% of all criminal shootings in Israel are carried out with stolen military weapons.

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