Terror attack by a junction in an area close to the settlement of Dolev in the West Bank..
(photo credit: YOSEF YOGEV)
Security forces arrested a Palestinian man and four alleged accomplices for killing an Israeli civilian in the West Bank last month, the Shin Bet (Israel Intelligence Agency) announced on Wednesday.
Muhammad Abu Shahin, a Fatah-Tanzim operative and resident of the Kalandia refugee camp, just east of Jerusalem, is in custody for the murder of 25-year-old Danny Gonen, from Lod, and the shooting and wounding of a second Israeli civilian.
The attack took place near the settlement of Dolev, in the Binyamin region, on June 19.
Security forces arrest Fatah-Tanzim members responsible for deadly terror attacks
In a joint operation by the Shin Bet, the Judea and Samaria Police’s counter-terrorism unit and the IDF, Shahin and several other terrorists were arrested, security forces said.
In the days after the shooting, a “wave of arrests occurred in the region, and Ramallah- area operatives were taken into custody.
They confessed during questioning to carrying out a series of terrorist attacks, including the murder of Danny Gonen,” the Shin Bet said.
Before the attack, the terrorists had carried out “shootings against security forces in the Kalandia refugee camp region,” the Shin Bet said. The cell “gathered intelligence on the natural spring in the area,” in order to target Israelis who passed through, it said.
During the investigation, security forces seized weapons, including the firearm allegedly used in the attack.
Shahin, 30, is a former member of the Fatah-affiliated Force 17, and receives a monthly salary from the Palestinian Authority.
He spent two years in an Israeli prison, from 2006 to 2008, after confessing to planning shooting and stabbing attacks. Shahin arrived at the spring near Dolev to gather intelligence before last month’s shooting on multiple occasions, the agency said.
In 2014, he carried out six shootings, including one that wounded a soldier, the Shin Bet added.
Security forces also named Amjad Adwan, 35, also a Tanzim-Fatah operative from the Kalandia camp, as a suspect. Adwan “supplied ammunition to Shahin, and acted as a lookout in a number of shooting attacks,” the Shin Bet said. He too spent time in Israeli prison, in 2008, for arms dealing and carrying out a bombing attack.
A third suspect, named by the agency as Ashraf Amar, 24, also from Kalandia, is “an operative in the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence” branch, the Shin Bet said. He has no prior arrests, and the Shin Bet said he headed out with Shahin to carry out an attack in recent months, but that the attackers turned back in the end.
Two additional suspects, one a member of Fatah-Tanzim, and another who has no organizational affiliation, are also under arrest on suspicion of involvement in killing Gonen.
Gonen, an electrical engineering student at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, had arrived with a friend to bathe in the spring.
The pair decided to leave after being told by a friend from nearby Dolev that a group of Palestinians were at the spring.
As they approached the Parsa junction, an IDF source said last month, a Palestinian standing at the side of the road asked them to pull over.
They complied, and the Palestinian asked them whether the “spring had water in it,” the IDF source added. In the middle of the discussion, the Palestinian, after having verified that those in the car were Israelis, produced a handgun and opened fire, striking both Israeli men with 9mm. rounds.