A serious security alert was issued Thursday morning, with the police capturing the suspect by the afternoon.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Police captured a suspected terrorist after an intense manhunt Thursday afternoon in Be’er Sheva and the surrounding area. Walla reports that a second man was arrested as well for possible involvement in the incident.
The search began a few hours earlier, after security forces received reports of a terrorist making his way to Israel’s southern capital. A state of high alert was declared, and a helicopter took off to aid the forces on the ground. Residents were asked to report anything suspicious to the police hotline.
By mid-afternoon the alert was lifted, as a man who fit the description of the suspect was captured by police in the city, near the Israel Standardization Institute, according to the 0404 news site.
Mayor Ruvik Danilovich took to Facebook to tell the citizens of his city that all was well.
“Dear residents, just now I received an update from the police southern district commander of the Israel Police that we may now resume our normal routines,” he wrote. “Thank you for your alertness!”
The last terrorist attack in Be’er Sheva was in 2015, when a gunman killed an IDF soldier at the city’s central bus station, stole his weapon and then opened fire into the crowd there, wounding 11, including several police officers. He was then killed by security forces who rushed to the scene.
Meanwhile, Thursday also saw the fourth infiltration from the Gaza Strip in less than a week. In the morning, IDF soldiers arrested two suspects armed with knives and boxcutters who had broken through the border fence in the southern part of the Strip.
Extra IDF forces have also been sent to the border fence in anticipation of a mass protest on the Gaza side in commemoration of Land Day, an annual demonstration in the Arab sector. Hamas has set up tents and portable toilets, with officials saying that the people will stay at the border until May 15, the anniversary of the Jewish state’s founding and a date Arabs call “Nakba” (Catastrophe) Day.
The IDF has warned that if any infiltration or attacks are attempted during this time, such actions will be met by force.