Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority Arabs clash with Israeli soldiers in the city of Jenin overnight following drive-by shooting in January 2018.

Israeli security forces are closing in on the killer of Havat Gilad resident Rabbi Raziel Shevach, z’l, 35, a husband and father of five who was murdered in cold blood on January 9 at the entrance to his community while driving home from the store.

Most of the members of the Hamas-linked terrorist cell responsible for Shevach’s death have already been captured, but cell leader Ahmad Nasser Jarar has yet to be taken into custody.
On Saturday, his wife and father-in-law were arrested in the Jenin area and taken for interrogation, despite being under attack by local Arabs who hurled rocks and firebombs.

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IDF soldiers, Shin Bet intelligence agents and Israel Police Yamam SWAT team special forces were all involved in the arrest operation, and continue the hunt for Jarar as well.

“Since the shooting attack near Havat Gilad, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet intelligence agents have been investigating the attack and working to arrest the responsible terrorists and those who aided them,” Shin Bet said in a statement. “Over the past month, several Palestinians have been taken for interrogation on suspicion of involvement in the attack and of providing aid to the terrorists which carried it out.”

Over the past weekend and on Saturday night, IDF forces from the Menashe Brigade, along with Shin Bet intelligence agents and Border Guard Police arrested several additional suspects, transferring them for interrogation.

“In the past few hours and while the forces were working, disturbances erupted in a few locations; security forces responded by using crowd control methods,” security sources added.

“We are investigating the claim that five Palestinians were hurt,” the IDF said.

“The terror attack is still being investigated, and operations in the field and in the town of Burqin and in the refugee camp are ongoing,” security sources said.

On Sunday (Feb. 3, 2018), the issue of legal status for the community for Havat Gilad will be raised, and most likely be approved at the weekly government cabinet meeting.

The Samaria community is outside the jurisdiction of the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council; it was established in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, the security coordinator of the Council who was murdered the previous year in a terrorist attack. The land on which the community is located is privately owned by Zar’s family.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.