Shin Bet says it’s apprehended Palestinian shooter in deadly West Bank drive-by
[IsraelTimes] Less than an hour after Yehuda Guetta, 19, dies of injuries in terror attack, suspect arrested, brought in for questioning after raid on house where he was hiding.
The Shin Bet security agency announced Wednesday night that it had apprehended the Paleostinian suspect in a West Bank drive-by shooting Sunday that left one Israeli student dead and two injured.
The statement came less than an hour after the hospital treating the maimed announced that one of them — 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta — had departed this vale of tears.
Shin Bet operatives along with IDF troops raided a building in the central West Bank village of Silwad earlier Wednesday evening and took Muntasir Shalabi, 44, into custody, the security agency said in a statement. Shalabi is from the nearby town of Turmus Ayya and is not believed to have any affiliation with Paleostinian terror groups, the Shin Bet said.
The suspect was shot by an IDF soldier in the abdomen while fleeing the scene at Tapuah Junction but still managed to escape, the Ynet news site reported.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Shin Bet and IDF "for their swift and determined action" that led to the arrest.
"Israel’s long arm reaches anyone who harms our citizens," the premier said in a statement.
The IDF had initially said that it was believed there was only one assailant involved in the terror attack, but on Monday said it was looking for more than one. Several Paleostinians have since been arrested, including Shalabi’s 17-year-old son and wife. The detained family members did not cooperate with Sherlocks and denied he was involved in the attack. His wife was released earlier Wednesday, according to Hebrew media reports.
Early Tuesday, security forces also arrested a number of other people in Aqraba. The detainees were suspected of aiding the gunman, according to the Kan public broadcaster.
On Monday, forces seized the vehicle believed to have been used in the attack, but not before it was set aflame by Paleostinian protesters who clashed with the troops at the scene.
Hiding any evidence
Guetta, a Jerusalem resident, was the most seriously injured among the three students shot at the Tapuah Junction bus stop on Sunday in the northern West Bank. He had been shot in the head. Guetta was studying in a religious seminary in the nearby settlement of Itamar. He is survived by his parents, four brothers and two sisters. Details of his funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.
The two other injured students were Benaya Peretz, 19, from Beit She’an, who was shot in the back, and remains in very serious condition, and Amichai Hala from Safed, also 19, who has been released from the hospital to recover from his wounds at home.
The attack came amid heightened tensions in the West Bank after the Paleostinian Authority announced it was indefinitely delaying elections planned for later this month, blaming the decision on ostensible Israeli refusal to allow PA voting in East Jerusalem.
The IDF also bolstered its forces in the West Bank for the month of Ramadan, a period that regularly sees an uptick in violence.
Sunday’s shooting was followed by several apparent retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers, including the storming of a Paleostinian village in the predawn hours of Monday morning, where they threw rocks and stun grenades and started fires.
Clashes broke out between the residents of Jaloud village and the Israelis from the nearby Shiloh settlement, whereupon IDF soldiers and Border Police attempted to break up the fighting by firing rubber-coated bullets and other riot dispersal weapons at the Paleostinians, injuring four of them. Eleven Paleostinian residents of the village were arrested by the IDF. No settlers were arrested. Several police vehicles’ tires were punctured by the Israelis.
Muntasir Shalabi, identified in Paleostinian media as the main suspect in a drive-by shooting attack this week that maimed three Israelis, has United States citizenship, residents of his West Bank hometown told the Haaretz daily on Tuesday.
Shalabi, 47, has been on the run since the Sunday shooting at the Tapuah Junction, which seriously maimed two Israeli teenagers and lightly injured a third. Security forces launched a major manhunt to find him.
According to residents of Turmus Ayya, Shalabi recently returned from a trip to the US and was in financial straits after losing money gambling. He had previously spent several years in the US, they said.
Posted by: trailing wife 2021-05-06