Murderer of West Bank Rabbi Killed in Overnight Raid by Israeli Special Forces

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirms man killed is Ahmed Ismail Jarrar ■ Palestinians say two other suspects killed

An amalgamation of Israeli forces raid the house of Ahmed Jarrar in Jenin on January 17, 2018.
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Israeli security forces raided a house in the Jenin refugee camp Wednesday night and killed a Palestinian man who was reportedly involved in last week's drive-by shooting that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach near the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank.

The Palestinian health ministry said at night that the man killed in the raid is Ahmed Nasser Jarrer, the son of a Hamas official in the West Bank who was killed in fire exchanges with the Israeli military during the second intifada in 2002.

However, later on Thursday Jarrer’s family released a statement according to which Jarrer was not hurt in the shootout and managed to flee the building before the Israeli army’s raid.

Palestinians clash with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Jenin on January 18, 2018.
Majdi Mohammed/AP

According to Palestinian sources, wo more people who may have assisted in carrying out the Havat Gilad attack were killed in the raid. Their level of involvement in the terror attack is unknown.

Two Israeli officers were injured in the midst of fighting, one severely and one moderately. Both were taken to the hospital and the critically wounded soldier has stabilized.

People look through the rubble of the house of Palestinian gunman Ahmed Jarrar following Israeli military operations in the West Bank city of Jenin on January 18, 2018.
Majdi Mohammed/AP

During the raid, of which the intention was to arrest suspects, Palestinian eyewitnesses say the IDF destroyed Jarrar's home where suspects were barricading themselves. Several suspects were arrested, and hundreds of Palestinians clashed with security forces in the area following the raid.

In recent days, Israeli security forces have made significant headway in the investigation into last week's attack and were able to trace the attackers' escape route from the outpost to the building in which the suspects were hiding. A firefight ensued when security forces arrived at the scene.

FILE PHOTO: Security forces in the West Bank in 2016.
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, a Jenin hospital is treating four people injured in the clashes, three moderately by live fire and one with light wounds.

A father of six, Shevach, 35, was killed by shots fired from a car traveling along the West Bank's main highway last Wednesday. The Israeli military said that Shevach was driving on Route 60, the main highway in the West Bank, when his vehicle was targeted by gunmen in a passing car.

The health ministry also confirmed the Palestinian killed in Jenin was Ahmed Jarrar. His father, Nasser Jarrar, was active in the Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, and was killed in 2002 during the second intifada. 

Hamas said in an official statement that "the heroes in Jenin broke the equation of surrender that Israel has tried to impose on the Palestinians in the West Bank."

Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhari stated: "The Jenin cell is not the first cell and won't be the last and the criminal role of the security coordination will not succeed in thwarting the resistance to the occupation, dealing with Trump's Jerusalem declaration and protecting Al-Quds [Arabic name for Jerusalem]."

Hamas official in Gaza Ismail Raduan said: "The resistance in Gaza continues until the liberation of Jerusalem and we call for putting an end to the security coordination [with Israel]."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news of the gunman's death Thursday morning, saying "We will reach anyone who tries to harm Israeli citizens in the State of Israel."

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded as well, saying: "Last night security forces launched a complex and successful operation to capture the murderers of Rabbi Rziel Shevach. I congratulate the fighters for their courage and wish the wounded a recovery. The terrorists cannot hide; we will capture terrorists everywhere."

Yael Shevach, the wife of the late rabbi Raziel Shevach, thanked the forces for their actions and made a plea to the prime minister in which she requested that he authorize the intiative to give the Havat Gilad outpost where her husband was killed a legal status. "Break your silence, adopt the suggestion of the defense minister to approve Havat Gilad and bring it to the approval of the government."

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan spoke about the Israeli military's actions in Jenin, saying that "first and foremost we salute the fighters of the special police unit who did their job in the best way possible I think that they, along with the Shin Bet that provide quality intelligence and of course IDF troops that acted there, conveyed a clear message to all the despicable murderers, terrorist organizations and anyone who cooperates with them. The message is clear: we will reach them in every hole they hide."

Erdan said that while he could not reveal all of the details of the shootout, he did note that the fighters' injuries "happened during a heroic fight in which they did not give up until they took out the terrorist."