Weapon from terrorist attack on Focus Checkpoint in West Bank.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
The Palestinian Authority attempted to arrest the Palestinian officer who carried out a shooting attack against soldiers near Beit El on Monday, a family member said.
“The security forces came to our home about an hour before he carried out the operation and confiscated weapons,” a brother of Muhammad Turkman, 25, who asked to remain unnamed, told The Jerusalem Post. “They then said they would arrest Muhammad, but as you know, they did not reach him in time.”
Turkman opened fire on soldiers stationed at the Focus Checkpoint on Monday, wounding three soldiers, one of them seriously.
Another close relative of Turkman, who also asked to remain unnamed, told the Post
that after the Palestinian Authority security forces raided Turkman’s home in Kabatiya, a village near Jenin, Turkman’s mother informed her son that the security forces had taken his weapons.
“His mother called him and told him the officers confiscated his weapons. He then became really angry and carried out the operation,” the relative said, clarifying that “he did not plan to carry out an operation. It was spontaneous.”
Allegedly Turkman had stored illegal weapons in his parents’ home.
The brother added that Turkman carried out the attack because he thought he had nothing to lose. “Muhammad knew that they were coming to arrest him and did not want to start shooting them or for them to start shooting him. He knew he was dead. So he decided, in the moment, to go the checkpoint to carry out the operation,” he said.
The brother said that he wishes the police had reached Turkman in time.
“I wish they would have arrested him. One million times over I prefer Muhammad imprisoned than dead,” the brother remarked. “I also want to know why they did not reach him in time. I’m calling for the PA to open an investigation.”
Speaking about the state of his family, the brother said his entire family is shocked.
“We are so sad. We love Muhammad so much and did not want to lose him. He is very dear and beloved to us,” the brother stated. “I have no words to express my sorrow.”
Turkman became a police officer approximately seven years ago and most recently worked as an officer in Ramallah every other week. During the weeks he did not serve in Ramallah, he returned to Kabatiya to visit his family and work in construction.
He is the second police officer and third member of the PA security forces to carry out an attack against the IDF in the last year.
Amjed Sukari, a 34-year-old police officer, also carried out an attack against soldiers at the Beit El checkpoint in January. Additionally, Mazen Oraiba, an intelligence officer and relative of PLO official Saeb Erekat, carried out a shooting attack at the Hizma checkpoint, east of Jerusalem, in December 2015.