Israeli Army Kills Palestinian Who Carried Out West Bank Terror Attack Two Months Ago

The operation comes hours after Israeli forces killed the assailant of a drive-by shooting near an Israeli settlement earlier this week

Ziv Hajbi, 35, and Kim Yehezkel, 29, the victims of a deadly shooting in the West Bank, October 7, 2018.

Israeli security forces on Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian who was behind an attack that killed two Israelis, Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond and Ziv Hajbi, in an at the Barkan industrial area in the West Bank on October 7.

The Palestinian, 23-year-old Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa, was killed in a joint operation between the military, the Shin Bet security service and the police after a two-month manhunt, a statement said. The Shin Bet said that Na'alwa was armed when forces arrived to the scene. 

According to the Shin Bet, he was found as part of a large-scale intelligence operation. The arrest and interrogation of several suspects had helped locate Na'alwa and also revealed that he had planned to carry out another attack.

Security forces surrounded a building in which he was located, around 1:30 A.M., according to Palestinian reports.

The family's matriarch said two of her sons were also arrested during the operation, one of whom is a former convict. She added she did not know whether Na'alwa had been hiding in the building for some time, or arrived during the night. 

Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa

According to Palestinians' testimonies, the force entered the building with heavy fire and shot him dead at the scene.

Suspect in drive-by shooting near settlement killed

This comes hours after a separate operation to find the assailants of Sunday's drive-by shooting near an Israeli settlement during which Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man north of the West Bank city of Ramallah. 

Israeli forces surrounded a house near the Palestinian Authority's headquarters, which is close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' home, in the search for the drive-by shooter. 

Palestinian reports identified the man killed in the earlier operation as Salah Omar Barghouti, 29, from the village of Kobar. Salah is the son of Omar Barghouti, a senior Hamas member in the West Bank who is known as a veteran prisoner. 

Hamas responded to Thursday morning's events, saying: "The fire of resistance in the West Bank will not die until the occupation is lifted. The death of the two soldiers proves that the option of the Palestinian people is defiance. The West Bank will continue to support the forces of resistance and the blood of Na'alwa and Barghouti has not been spilled in vain. Hamas and the other resistance factions will continue to support activity to avenge their death."

Islamic Jihad released a similar statement, calling on Palestinians to escalate confrontations.

Earlier Wednesday, the baby, who was delivered three days earlier, died after his mother was seriously wounded in the drive-by shooting attack.

Immediatly following the October Barkan attack, the IDF, together with the Shin Bet and the Border Police, raided the village of the assailant and arrested Na'alwa's brother and sister.

The funeral of the baby who was delivered following the shooting, December 12, 2018
Emil Salman

According to Palestinian sources, neither the brother nor the sister had any information related to the attack, but the arrests were served to pressure Na'alwa to reveal himself.

Before carrying out the attack, Na'alwa gave a coworker a note in which he said he planned to commit suicide and praised late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The note led security forces to conclude that the shooting was a terror attack.

Employees in the factory said they did not know Na'alwa very well, who had worked there for four months. He was one of 250 Palestinian workers who were employed by the factory. According to his coworkers, he had not come to work over the past couple of weeks due to an illness.