Weapons used by terrorists in drive-by shootings found in raid

The terrorists themselves had been arrested soon after the attack near the town of Hawara.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

IDF troops found one of the weapons used in two terrorist drive-by attacks nine days ago during an arrest raid in northern Samaria before dawn Sunday, several days after the terrorists themselves had been caught.

Working together with the Border Police and Shabak agents, the soldiers netted four wanted men and seized several guns in their foray in a number of Arab villages, including Jama’in, the hometown of the terrorists who had shot at two Israeli cars near the Palestinian Authority town of Hawara on September 9.

In one attack, the terrorists had shot the driver from their own car, wounding him lightly from the glass of the windows shattered by the bullets.

In the other attack, they opened fire on the car of Rabbi David Amitai, the head of the Tapuach Yeshiva in which young men combine Torah study and army service.

“We managed to ‘catch’ some gunfire from Hawara,” Amitai said immediately after the attack while standing next to his vehicle. He thanked God for “preventing our enemies from carrying out their nefarious plans” and expressed the hope that “their weapons will be turned against them.”

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The IDF began an immediate manhunt, closing down the exits from Hawara as well as neighboring villages, and eventually caught the alleged perpetrators, whom they handed over to the security authorities for interrogation.

At the time, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan called for the government to let the army do its job to protect the country’s citizens.

“We’re seeing a very serious resurgence of terror incidents here in the heart of the Samaria and in the entire area between Shechem (Nablus) and Jenin in general,” he said.

“The Palestinian Authority is pouring more and more fuel on the fire and is trying to create an intifada here. I say clearly that if the Israeli government does not give the IDF the opportunity to turn the tables here, it can cost us in blood.”

It was time to take a hard stance, he continued.

“We demand from the Israeli government to end its obsequiousness towards the Palestinian Authority and allow the IDF to turn the tables and change its policy from a defensive standpoint to an all-encompassing offensive attack against all armed terrorists and all weapons circulating the area,” Dagan said. “It’s possible to stop the emerging terror wave – it’s in the hands of the government.”

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Meanwhile, on Sunday night, Defense Minister Benny Gantz already authorized the reopening of the two crossings in the border fence in northern Samaria that he had ordered closed Wednesday “until further notice” after Major Bar Falach was killed near one of them when two terrorists opened fire on his Nahal Reconnaissance unit the day before.

This, despite calling the attack near the Jalamah crossing a “serious” one and acknowledging that there has been “an increase in the scope of terrorism” in the area.

Gantz vowed the IDF would crackdown on terrorism saying, “We will continue to act intensely wherever necessary, whenever necessary to prevent terrorism.”