image Photo: IDF

Israel arrests West Bank Palestinian terrorists

4 more Palestinians have been arrested for suspected involvement in the murder of Yehuda Dimantman near Homesh.

By Erin Viner

All of the suspects were identified as members of the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, netted without gunfire after a massive 2-day manhunt.

The terror squad was captured in the West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya northwest of Jenin “pursuant to operational and intelligence activity by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), IDF and the special anti-terrorism unit of the Israel Police,” read an ISA (Shin Bet) statement obtained by TV7.

The weapons believed to have been used to kill Dimantman were also seized, including 2 M16 rifles and a “Carlo” improvised submachine gun.

The victim was murdered and 2 other Israelis were injured when the car they were in was ambushed and sprayed with bullets after leaving the West Bank Jewish outpost of Homesh en route to the Shavei Shomron community on 16 December.

According to Palestinian reports, the terrorists were identified as Omar Ahmed Yassin Jaradat, 20; Ghaith Jaradat, 17; and Majed Saleh Jaradat, whose father Salah was a PIJ operative killed by Israeli forces in 2003. 2 of the suspects are reportedly brothers.

“I commend the ISA, the IDF and the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit on quickly bringing this to a close, with multiple units cooperating and acting in concert, which led to the capture of the terrorists who carried out the attack in Samaria,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who was present at the special ISA operations forward command center during the entire mission; along with the ISA Director and his deputy, GOC Central Command, the commander of the IDF Judea and Samaria Division, the commander of Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit, ISA commanders and other senior officials.

“I had the privilege of monitoring, in real-time, the operation to capture the cell that murdered the late Yehuda Dimantman. It was fine and impressive work. The cooperation between the ISA, the IDF and the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Unit and the other security elements was exceptional,” Prime Minister Bennett informed his Cabinet at the start of the weekly meeting Sunday morning.

“When we work together, the goal is crystal clear – we succeed. There was success here in closing in on the terrorists in a very short time and in not allowing them to disappear for a long time,” he added.

Bennett underscored in later statements, “All terrorists need to know that the State of Israel will hold them accountable. They cannot hide for long. Every terrorist must know that they are on borrowed time.”

“In recent weeks, we have witnessed efforts by terrorist organizations to raise their head in Judea and Samaria. There have also been attacks carried out by lone individuals inspired by the usual incitement, that maybe changes platforms – in the past it was Facebook and now it is Tik Tok – but the incitement is still the same incitement. The IDF, ISA and all of the security agencies are alert and ready. There is no terrorist who we will not pursue and who we will not reach, whatever it takes,” the Israeli leader emphasized.

Echoing that pledge, Defense Minister Benny Gantz commended the operation and vowed, “We will continue to chase terrorists and bring justice to those who hurt or try to hurt Israeli citizens.” Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said that, “Every terrorist who attacks an Israeli citizen should know that the day will come when he will meet [Israeli] security forces face-to-face. We will not give in to terror,” and the ISA underscored that “security forces will continue until justice is served for those involved in acts of terror.”

The Islamist Hamas rulers of Gaza immediately hailed the deadly attack.

Hamas blesses this heroic operation in Nablus against the ‘occupation forces and the murderous settlers,’” Hamas Spokesperson Hazim Qasim declared, adding, “This operation proves yet again that our heroic people will continue their struggle until they expel ‘the occupier.’”

Despite the repeated Israeli warnings, Hamas and the PIJ terror groups announced an agreement yesterday to step up terror attacks on Israelis, particularly in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

There has been a recent surge of Palestinian terrorism.

Several violent incidents erupted in the West Bank over the weekend during the Israeli manhunt for the perpetrators. A Palestinian female terrorist, 65, was neutralized by Border Police officers in Hebron on Saturday after lightly injuring an Israeli, 38, in a stabbing attack.

young mother was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian teenage girl in Jerusalem last week while carrying a baby in a morning walk to school with her 4 other children. The victim was safely evacuated to an area hospital for treatment, and the suspected terrorist was arrested nearby.

There has was also an attempted vehicular homicide perpetrated in the West Bank on 6 December, 3 additional stabbings in the capital, and the shooting murder of a young Israeli immigrant from South Africa on 21 November.