Two Palestinian Authority suspects from the Arab village of Beit Kahil in southern Judea were arrested on Saturday in connection with last Wednesday’s terrorist murder of IDF Cpl. Dvir Sorek near the Israeli town of Migdal Oz, the Israel Security Service (Shin Bet) announced.
Nasir Asafra, 24, is a member of the Hamas terrorist organization, although he has had no prior arrests. His 30-year-old cousin Qassem Asafra likewise has a clean record. Both were asleep at home when Israeli forces arrived at 3 am Saturday morning to take them into custody. In addition, the forces arrested Nasir’s brother Akram and Qassem’s wife Inez on suspicion they both helped hide the two suspected killers following the attack.
A mob of some 100 villagers hurled rocks at the forces as they were carrying out the arrests. IDF soldiers used riot dispersal measures to scatter the attackers. No injuries were reported in the incident.
The IDF said that a vehicle belonging to one of the suspects and which is believed to have been used in the attack was also seized in the raid, which was carried out in a joint operation by IDF soldiers, Border Guard Police and Shin Bet intelligence agents.
“In recent years our forces have managed to track down the Palestinian murderers who target Israelis,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, praising the arrests. “Today they have done so again. We will continue to fight terrorism intensely on all fronts.”
Sorek’s body was found with multiple stab wounds early Thursday, hours after he had been reported missing, near the Jewish community of Migdal Oz, where he had just begun attending a military yeshiva at the start of his army service. He was alone, not in uniform and unarmed at the time he was ambushed.
Following the attack, the IDF added and intensified its presence in Judea and Samaria, boosting the number of active and reserve forces in the region.