Military Arrests Siblings of West Bank Attacker Who Murdered Two Israelis

Security services arrest several suspects in hometown of Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa, the shooter who killed Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond and Ziv Hajbi and is still at large

IDF soldiers raid the village of Shuwaykah in the West Bank, October 7, 2018.
IDF Spokesperson's Office

Israeli security forces raided the hometown of a West Bank shooter, following Sunday's attack that claimed the lives of two Israelis, Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond and Ziv Hajbi. The military arrested the assailant's brother and sister, along with several other people from the village. 

Ashraf Walid Saliman Neloah

On Sunday, two people were killed in a shooting attack in a recycling factory in the Barkan Industrian Zone in the West Bank. The attacker was identified as Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa, a 23-year-old Palestinian man from Shuwaykah who worked at the Barkan factory

The Israel Defense Forces, together with the Shin Bet and the Border Police, raided Shuwaykah, the village where Na'alwa, who is still at large, resides. The security services arrested several people from the village. All suspects were taken into custody and are undergoing investigation.

The military also arrested Na'alwa's sister, a lecturer at the an-Najah University in Nablus. The sister resides in Nablus with her husband.

According to Palestinian sources, neither the brother, arrested Sunday, nor the sister have any information related to the attack, but the arrests serve to pressure the assailant to reveal himself.

>> Analysis: Following attack, Israeli defense officials fear collective punishment could ignite West Bank

IDF soldiers raid the village of Shuwaykah in the West Bank, October 7, 2018.
IDF Spokesperson's Office

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 has led security forces to conclude that the shooting was a terror attack.

The IDF said it will continue the search "at full force" until the terrorist is captured.

In addition, the IDF said it arrested 19 Palestinians suspected of involvement in terror activity.

IDF soldiers raid the village of Shuwaykah in the West Bank, October 7, 2018.
IDF Spokesperson's Office
IDF soldiers raid the village of Shuwaykah in the West Bank, October 7, 2018.
IDF Spokesperson's Office

Employees of the Barkan industrial area have been told to remain indoors while police and military forces are scouting the area. Police investigators are bringing to the scene suspects who are familiar with the area and previously worked in the factory.

IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis called the shooting "a serious terror attack." Based on the fact that Yehezkel's hands were tied, authorities believe that the assailant originally intended to abduct the victims.

Hamas released a statement in response to the shooting, saying: "The attack in Barkan is a new chapter in the struggle of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and a message to the young people of the West Bank and Gaza who are under siege."

The Islamic Jihad organization also issued a statement and congratulated the shooter. "The attack in the area of Ariel is a natural response to the crimes of the occupation in Gaza, Jerusalem and Khan al-Ahmar and against those who hurt children. It's a response to those who oppose the occupation and the continued damage inflicted on Palestinians. [Israel] shouldn't expect such events to take place without a reaction."

IDF soldiers raid the village of Shuwaykah in the West Bank, in search of Ashraf Walid Saliman Neloah October 7th 2018
IDF Spokesperson's Office

The two victims, Ziv Hajbi, 35, and Kim Yehezkel-Levengrond, 29, were both married with children. A third casualty, a 54-year-old woman, was hospitalized in moderate condition. Hundreds attended Yehezkel-Levengrond's funeral on Sunday evening. Hajbi will be laid to rest on Monday at noon.