Security forces arrested three Palestinians from the Hebron area over the
weekend on suspicion of murdering former senior IDF officer Col. (res.) Sraya
Ofer early on Thursday outside of his home in the Jordan Valley.
security source said it was still too soon to conclusively determine the motive
for the deadly attack, but added that some media reports claiming that the
incident was a failed robbery or otherwise criminal in nature were
It appears that security forces believe that the slaying was
most likely a terrorist attack.
Ofer, nicknamed Yaya, was set upon by men
carrying metal bars and axes after stepping outside of his home in the vacation
village of Brosh Habika early on Friday morning.
His wife, Monique, fled
the scene and survived.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) took the
lead in the investigation, and began chasing down intelligence leads from the
moment the murder was reported. Meanwhile, a mobile crime scene investigation
lab set up by Judea and Samaria police found several items, including murder
weapons, security forces said.
On Saturday, following an intelligence
tip-off received by Shin Bet, three Palestinian residents of the village of Deir
Samet, near Hebron, were arrested.
Two of the suspects, named as Fard
Talab Harub, 18, and Basher Ahmed Harub, 21, confessed to carrying out the
murder, Shin Bet added.
The suspects said during questioning that they
arrived at the murder victim’s home two weeks ago late at night, though they did
not assault anyone on that occasion.
The information is consistent with
an account given by Sraya’s wife, Monique, who told security forces that youths
from Hebron had previously arrived at her home in a suspicious
Five Palestinians arrested by security forces on Friday have been
released without charge.
Lt.-Col. Yoav Bruner, commander of the 890th
Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade, said more than 10 soldiers arrived at the
murder scene minutes after initial reports of an incident were received, finding
bloodstained gloves and items used in the homicide.
“After fleeing the
scene, the killers walked eight to 10 km. south on foot, before entering
a vehicle and leaving the area,” Bruner said.
“We found the footprints at
3 a.m.,” Bruner said, adding that soldiers tracked them into the morning
Bruner said none of the equipment left behind by the attackers
indicated that they had intended to rob Ofer’s home.
Speaking to Channel
10 from her hospital bed, Monique Ofer said on Saturday, “I simply can’t believe
it. It didn’t happen. He was an incredible man. I feel like I’ve lost the most
precious thing in my life.”