IDF ARRESTS SEVERAL PALESTINIANS AS MANHUNT FOR BARKAN TERRORIST CONTINUES

The IDF arrested several Palestinians in the West Bank village of Shweiki near Tulkarm in a massive manhunt for the terrorist suspected of shooting dead two Israelis and wounding a third in the industrial area of Barkan on Sunday.

“Following the terror shooting that took place yesterday in the Barkan Industrial Park, in which Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi — may their memories be blessed — were killed and another female civilian was injured, last night IDF troops working with the Shin Bet and Border Police, operated in the village of Shuweika, where the terrorist was from,” read a statement released by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit.

“As part of those activities, a number of arrests were made in the village. IDF soldiers and security forces will continue their search for the terrorist until he is caught,” the statement added.

On Sunday morning 23 year-old Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa fatally shot Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 29, of Rosh Ha’ayin, and Ziv Hajbi, 35, from Rishon Lezion. He shot a third woman, seriously injuring her, before fleeing the scene with the Carlo Gustav weapon he used.

According to Palestinian media security forces detained the shooter’s sister overnight in Nablus and clashes broke out in the area of Yatta in the southern Hebron hills while IDF troops were conducting searches.

Israel is searching for Na’alwa-who had a permit to work at the Barkan park where he had been employed as an electrician for the past seven months at a factory run by the Alon Group- with the help of Palestinian security forces.

“There is full coordination between the security forces when it comes to the manhunt for the terrorist who carried out the Barkan attack. The information collected at this stage is supposed to assist in tracing the terrorist’s movements from the moment of the incident to his current whereabouts,” a Palestinian security source told Ynet News.

Following the attack IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot held a situational assessment with the head of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan, after which it was decided to send additional troops from the central command and Samaria Brigade to the area.

Checkpoints in the Samaria region were closed as part of the manhunt for the shooter.

The Border Police’s counter-terrorism Yamam unit as well as troops from the IDF’s elite Duvdevan, Lotar and Oketz Units, and Shin Bet forces are participating in the manhunt for Na’alwa, and entered his village Sunday afternoon.

Clashes broke out in Shuwaykah on Sunday night as troops arrived at Na’alwa’s home. Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at troops. No injuries were reported.

Troops from the Menashe regional brigade mapped the building ahead of a possible demolition order. The terrorist’s brother was reportedly among the suspects arrested and interrogated. The detainees were transferred to the Shin Bet (General Security Service) to establish if they knew of Na’alwa’s plans or helped him escape from the scene.

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