Security forces have arrested a reputed member of Islamic Jihad they say is responsible for the fatal shooting attack that killed a father and son in the West Bank Friday afternoon.
The suspect, named by the Shin Bet as Shadi Ahmed Matawa, a 28-year-old father of two from Hebron - was arrested at his house after his father reported him to Israeli security forces at an IDF checkpoint in the West Bank.
Matawa was then arrested in a raid involving Shin Bet agents, the “Duvdevan” undercover unit of the IDF and troops from the Yehuda Brigade, the Shin Bet said.
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement on Sunday that during the arrest officers found the rifle and vehicle used in the attack and that, under questioning, the suspect linked himself to the attack. They have still not determined the extent to which other suspects may have been involved in the attack.
They also said that their investigation has determined that Matawa told his brother he carried out the attack and his brother quickly went and told his father. The Shin Bet said the two then decided to turn Matawa in.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu opened his Sunday cabinet meeting by praising security forces and saying, “Last night I spoke to the widow and mother Noa and I told her that all of the people of Israel lament this terrible, double tragedy and that we would find the murderer and continue to ruthlessly fight terror.”
Rabbi Ya’akov Litman, 40, and his son Netanel, 18, were gunned down outside Otniel south of Hebron on Friday afternoon while they were on their way to a pre-wedding Shabbat celebration for one of Litman’s daughters, Sarah Tihyeh.
At their funeral on Har Hamenuchot Saturday night, Sarah Tihyeh said: “Dad, where have you gone? I wanted you to be at my wedding. Who will give me away?
Five other members of the Litman family were lightly wounded in the shooting, including Noa, three daughters aged 5, 9, and 11, and a 16-year-old son. On Saturday, Noa said an ambulance from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society stopped at the scene of the attack before Magen David Adom paramedics arrived, but left without offering assistance. Dvir, the 16-year-old son, called MDA and also said the Red Crescent ambulance left the scene.
The Red Crescent denied the claims in a message on its website.
According to the IDF Spokesman, the gunmen first shot Ya’akov, and then Netanel while he was calling for help. Following the shooting, security forces shut down roads in the southern West Bank and fanned out into nearby Palestinian villages to search for the suspects.
Following news of the arrest on Sundaqy, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon praised security forces, saying: “We pursue terrorists and those who send them everywhere and at all times, and we do not rest until we get our hands on them. Anyone who plans an attack on Israeli civilians must know that their blood is on their hands and we will settle accounts with them.”