Photo Credit: Ariel Oseran / Twitter
Israeli forces arrest three terror suspects at Al-Rabat Mosque in Bethlehem after three Israelis were wounded in a drive-by shooting hours earlier near Tekoa. July 16, 2023

The Palestinian Authority terrorist who opened fire an Israeli family in a drive-by shooting Sunday morning in near the Jewish community of Tekoa in Gush Etzion, has been taken into custody along with two other suspects.


The forces tracked the terrorist to the Al-Rabat Mosque in central Bethlehem, about 10 miles south of Jerusalem, where a shootout ensued. The suspect surrendered after Israeli forces urged him over a loudspeaker to give himself up.

Arab media identified the suspect as Ammar al-Najjar, a 26-year-old Hamas member from Hebron who was previously incarcerated in an Israeli prison on terrorism charges.

“IDF and Border Police fighters under the intelligence guidance of the Shin Bet arrested the terrorist suspected of carrying out the shooting attack earlier today,” the IDF, Border Police and Shin Bet said in a statement.

“In addition, IDF forces apprehended two additional suspects and confiscated the terrorist’s vehicle, which had an M-16 inside it.
During the activity riots broke out in the street, IDF forces responded with riot dispersal means,” the statement added.

“As we proved today, so we will prove every time it is necessary – every terrorist circle will be closed, every terrorist will pay a heavy price. Sending wishes for a speedy recovery and good health to Elrai Kapah and his daughters who were injured in the attack,” tweeted Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, praising the IDF, Border Police and Shin Bet.

Terror Attack Near Tekoa, Three Wounded in Drive-by Shooting

The attacker and two other suspects were tracked down by Israeli security forces and arrested within hours of shooting 35-year-old El-Rai Kapach, a father of five and resident of the Gush Etzion community of Nokdim, and his daughters Rachel, age nine, and Avigail, age 14.

Kapach’s daughters suffered minor injuries from broken glass. All three were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where Kapach underwent emergency surgery. He was listed in serious but stable condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.


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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.