The Shin Bet and IDF arrested a Palestinian man who threw a large marble slab onto IDF troops, leading to the death of a 20-year-old soldier from the Duvdevan unit in late May.
During the interrogation of Islam Yusuf Abu Hamid, a 32-year-old resident of the Am’ari refugee camp in Ramallah, by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), it became clear that he had thrown the slab that hit St.-Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky from the roof of a nearby building.
Israel will continue to bring to justice anyone who attacks or tries to attack Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday following Abu Hamid’s arrest.
“A Duvdevani soldier is the one who was killed, and Duvdevan is the unit that apprehended the terrorist,” Netanyahu said before a meeting with visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Duvdevan is an elite counterterrorism commando unit.
Netanyahu congratulated the IDF and the Shin Bet for its impressive intelligence and operational capabilities in arresting the terrorist.
Lubarsky, from Rehovot, was seriously wounded when he was hit on the head by a large slab of marble during an operation aimed at arresting a terrorist cell involved in recent shooting attacks.
The IDF carries out nearly nightly raids across the West Bank, detaining Palestinian suspects wanted for terrorist attacks, illegal weapons possession and other security-related offenses. According to a report released in March by various Palestinian prisoners rights groups, the IDF arrested 1,319 Palestinians during the months of January and February 2018.
The soldier, who was part of the operation’s covering force, received initial emergency medical attention in the field and was transferred to intensive care at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, where he succumbed to his wounds two days later.
An IDF official stated that Lubarsky was wearing full protective gear and standing close to one of the homes in the refugee camp in Ramallah and that his helmet was “destroyed” after he was initially hit by the slab, which was thrown from a third-story rooftop.
One suspect was arrested during the operation, and another two were arrested Thursday evening. All suspects were taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet except for Abu Hamid, because he had not been identified by troops at the time of the incident.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took to his Twitter account after the incident, sending his condolences to the family, writing that the terrorist would be arrested and that justice would be served.
“No one is immune, no filthy terrorist will slip away from the arms of the security system. I am resending my condolences to the dear Lubarsky family. The terrorists are to be brought to justice,” Liberman wrote following the announcement of Abu Hamid’s arrest.
According to the Shin Bet, Abu Hamid’s brothers are Hamas operatives who have carried out a variety of attacks in the past that included the killing of Israelis, including Shin Bet operative Noam Cohen.
Cohen was killed during a security operation in Ramallah on February 13, 1994, when three Hamas operatives opened fire with automatic weapons on the car he was traveling in at the Beitunya junction. Although the car was hit by 62 bullets, Cohen still was able to step outside of the vehicle to return fire, where he was shot and critically wounded.
Abu Hamid’s interrogation continues, and further details remain under gag order.