Palestinian Charged With Murder of Jewish Man in West Bank Shooting Attack

Muntassir Shalabi, a U.S. citizen, accused of killing 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta last month ■ Indictment says Shalabi planned attack for a month

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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The scene of the shooting attack at Tapuah junction, last month.
The scene of the shooting attack at Tapuah junction, last month.Credit: Moti Milrod
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

A Palestinian who allegedly shot and killed a Jewish man in the West Bank last month was charged with murder on Thursday.

Muntassir Shalabi stands accused of shooting 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta at a bus top at Tapuah junction in the northern West Bank. Guetta died three days later.

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Shalabi, a U.S. citizen, was also charged with the attempted murder of two of Guetta’s friends who were with him – one of whom was seriously wounded – and of other Israelis waiting there. He was arrested a few days after the attack when he tried to turn himself in to the Palestinian Authority.

Shalabi is alleged to have fired at Guetta and his friends, Benaya Peretz and Amichai Hala, from close range. According to the allegations against him, he stopped firing only when his pistol stopped working, and fled while others at the bus stop tried to chase after him and shot at him. Peretz was paralyzed and Hala was lightly wounded.

Shalabi aimed to kill soldiers or Jewish civilians and planned his attack for a month, according to the indictment, filed in the military court at the Ofer military base just north of Jerusalem. He allegedly prepared a will, practiced shooting and intended on carrying out the attack a number of times but postponed it twice. According to the indictment, he fled the scene and confessed to some friends who helped him hide his car and gun. In the end, the indictment stated, a friend of his who was hosting Shalabi in the town of Silwad told him to turn himself in, and he was arrested there by Israeli security forces.

Security officials believe Shalabi acted alone, and the indictment does not accuse anyone else of involvement in planning the attack. Immediately after the attack, the unauthorized outpost of Evyatar was established and the study hall there named after Guetta. Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered this week that Evyatar be dismantled, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has opposed.

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