Independence Day terrorists caught captured in complex operation; no resistance

IDF expert reservists specializiing in field analysis played a major role in locating the murderers.

By World Israel News Staff

Four days after the deadly attack in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad in central Israel, the two axe-wielding terrorists were caught and arrested in a joint operation by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the IDF and the Israel Police.

The escaped terrorists, 19-year-old As’ad Yussef Assad al-Rafa’i and 20-year-old Sabhi Abu Shakir — both of Rummanah, a small village near Jenin — were found in a wooded area between Rosh HaAyin and Nahshonim, less than a kilometer from where the attack took place.

Three fathers — Yonatan Habakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftach — were murdered on Thursday evening, at the conclusion of Israel’s Independence Day, leaving their wives and a total of 16 children.

It was assumed the terrorists had not managed to escape to the Palestinian Authority-run areas of Judea and Samaria, as no trace of them had been found at the security barrier.

Information gathered by intelligence, including IDF expert reservists who specialize in field analysis, pointed to the location where the murderers were found. It was a wooded area, with many tangled branches, making it difficult to locate them.

The exhausted terrorists surrendered to the forces with no resistance.

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“I congratulate the security forces on capturing the two terrorists who committed the murder in Elad,” stated Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev.

“In the last two days, the best forces in the police, the Shin Bet, and the IDF have worked together to get their hands on them, and so it has happened. The intensive activity along a complex terrain route deserves all praise. We will continue to pursue with determination those who seek our harm at any time, and everywhere, and we will reach them,” he said.

“We said that we would apprehend the terrorists and we have done so,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the Sunday morning cabinet meeting.

“This morning, our forces – the Israel Police and the ISA, together with soldiers from the Maglan, Egoz and Mirol [IDF] units – captured the murderers. The miserable terrorists, brainwashed with incitement who used axes to commit unimaginably brutal murders, were apprehended near a local quarry. Again, I commend the ISA and its Director, the Israel Police and its Inspector General, and all of the soldiers.”