Heavy clashes as IDF hunts for terrorist in Shechem

IDF forces encountered severe violence during a manhunt to capture a terrorist in Shechem.  

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

IDF forces on Tuesday night continued their operation to locate and arrest the terrorist who stabbed and murdered Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal on Monday.

The IDF stated that during the manhunt for the terrorist in the city of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria they encountered some 500 Palestinian rioters who threw rocks, firebombs and explosive charges and shot at the IDF troops.

The IDF responded by firing in the air and using crowd dispersal measures to counter the violent rioting.

The Palestinians report that one rioter was killed and several others were wounded during the clashes. The IDF said it was looking into the reports.

The Al-Najah Hospital in Shechem identified the deceased as Khaled Walid Tayeh, 22, from Iraq al-Tayeh.

The IDF arrested seven suspects during the sweep. However, the terrorist, an Arab with Israeli citizenship named Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, from Jaffa, is still at large.

The clashes died down after the army left the city.

The IDF stated Tuesday that it has made significant progress in the manhunt for the terrorist, but gave no further details.

Assi stabbed and murdered Ben Gal, a 29-year-old father of four young children, as he waited for a ride near the city of Ariel, in Samaria.

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A day before the attack, Assi was detained by IDF soldiers in a confrontation at the site of the bus stop and was then released, Israel’s Ynet news reported Tuesday.

He reportedly verbally assaulted IDF soldiers securing the bus station, who detained him for a short period, saw his Israeli ID card and released him.

The IDF said that a preliminary investigation showed the soldiers acted properly in accordance with the suspect’s behavior.

In related news, IDF forces carried out counter-terrorism operations throughout Judea and Samaria Tuesday night, during which they arrested a total of 17 Palestinians for their connection to terrorism.