In a statement issued on Saturday, the Israeli army said that two arrests had been made in the gruesome stabbing death of 19-year old soldier and yeshiva student, Dvir Sorek. According to published reports, two Palestinian cousins were apprehended in the Arab village of Beit Kahil which is located near Hebron.
Edited by: JV Staff
Security forces identified the two suspects as Nasir Asafra, 24, and Qassem Asafra, 30, according to a Times of Israel report. The Israel Defense Forces said that the former suspect is a Hamas member but neither of them had any prior arrests. The car they used in the attack was seized as well.
Sore, the latest victim of a deadly Palestinian terror attack was found late on Wednesday near the settlement of Migdal Oz.
According to the Times, the two family members were asleep at home around 3 a.m. when security forces showed up and apprehended them.
Two other family members were also detained in the raid, Qassem’s wife Ines and Nasir’s brother Akrama, based on evidence that these two helped the suspects hide after the murder.
During the arrest, around 100 Beit Kahil residents attacked troops with stones.
Following the murder, Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack.
Hamas said, “We congratulate our people for the heroic action in which the soldier was killed. We call on the PA and the security forces to stop the security coordination. Armed struggle in the West Bank is noble. Our people will sacrifice what’s most dear to them to defend their land and Jerusalem.”
Both groups claimed the killing was in response to Israel’s demolition of buildings on the security fence with Israel in Jerusalem. Israel pulled down 13 structures on July 22 that were considered a security risk in an operation approved by Israel’s Supreme Court.
It was reported by Ma’ariv that several Hamas cells have been discovered in Judea and Samaria. Their goal is to recruit Hamas activists for terror attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised intelligence and security forces for locating and arresting the suspects.
“We will continue to fight terrorism intensely on all fronts,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, accused the Palestinian Authority, its rival in Judea and Samaria, of cooperating with Israel to identify the terrorists behind the killing.
“We have always warned against the security liaison between the Authority’s security in [Judea and Samaria] and [Israel’s] army,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said. (WIN)