Manhunt for Elad terrorists continues, still capable of more attacks

One of the victims unwittingly drove the suspects into Elad, police say.

By David Hellerman

An IDF manhunt for two Palestinians suspected of killing three Israelis in Elad on Thursday continued on Saturday night.

Security officials said they believe Asad a-Rafai, 19, and Sabhi Abu Shaki, 20, are still capable of attacking more people.

Both are from the Palestinian village of Rumana, near Jenin.

Hebrew media reports said the IDF has expanded its search beyond Elad to nearby Arab communities and to an area by the security barrier.

Armed with an axe and a knife, the two killed three Israelis and injured seven other celebrating Independence Day at a park in the central town of Elad on Thursday.

Killed in the attack were Boaz Gol, Yonatan Havakuk and Oren Ben Yiftah.

Funerals for the three were held on Friday. They leave behind a combined 16 orphans.

Police said Ben Yiftah gave the Palestinians a ride to Elad, apparently unaware they were in Israel illegally.

Hebrew media reports said that Ben Yiftah was a driver and had given Rafa’i and Shaki rides to Elad numerous times. They said they were construction workers at a synagogue in the city.

The suspects are not known to be members of any terror organizations, but Israeli officials believe they were incited by Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar, who called on Palestinians to defend the Temple Mount by attacking Israelis.