Manhunt Continues: Israeli Forces Raid Hometown of West Bank Attacker, Make Arrests

Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na'alwa, a Palestinian accused of carrying out a shooting attack that killed two Israelis, is believed to have gotten help in evading law enforcement authorities

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Israeli security forces in the village of Shweika.
Israeli security forces in the village of Shweika overnight between Oct. 8 and 9, 2018.Credit: IDF Spokesman

Israeli security forces carried out several arrests overnight between Tuesday in the West Bank Palestinian village of Shweika, home of Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na'alwa, who is accused of killing two Israelis and wounding a third on Sunday at the Barkan industrial zone.

The arrests were reported by the Israeli Spokesperson's Unit.

Na'alwa, a 23-year-old Palestinian who worked in the West Bank industrial zone, killed co-workers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi at the offices of the Alon Group before fleeing the scene. Security forces have been searching for Na'alwa ever since and suspect that he has received assistance in evading the security forces.

The Palestinian shooter seen fleeing the scene after opening fire at a factory in the West Bank on October 7, 2018.Credit: Screengra / YouTube / Haaretz

In the raid on Shweika, Israeli army troops arrested Na'alwa's brother, following the detention on Monday of his sister in the Nablus area. The sister was released after a several hours. Residents of her Nablus neighborhood said security forces repeatedly entered and left the area.

Na'alwa's father said security forces raided the family home and arrested the alleged assailant's mother and two sisters.

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

At this stage, the investigation of the attack is centered primarily around intelligence gathering in the field. Initially security forces were concerned about unrest among the Palestinian population following the attack, but as of Monday, security officials detected nothing unusual on the ground. Investigators are attempting to determine how Na'alwa managed to get a rifle past a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Barkan industrial zone.

The security forces also carried out searches overnight in the vicinity of the West Bank village of Beit Sira and confiscated thousands of shekels in cash that is thought to have been used to finance terrorist activity and arrested seven individuals on suspicions of involvement in terrorism or disturbances of the peace, the army spokesman's office added.

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