Security forces have arrested a reputed member of Islamic Jihad they say is responsible for the shooting attack that killed a father and son in the West Bank on Friday afternoon.
The suspect, named by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) 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 arrested in a raid involving Shin Bet agents, the “Duvdevan” undercover unit of the IDF and troops from the Yehuda Brigade, during which the arresting officers found the rifle and vehicle used in the attack.
Under questioning, the suspect linked himself to the attack, according to the Shin Bet, which still has not determined the extent to which other suspects may have been involved in the attack.
According to their investigation, Matawa told his brother he had carried out the attack and his brother quickly went and told his father and the two decided to turn him in because they feared their house would be demolished.
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 terrorism.”
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 five, nine 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 Sunday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon praised the 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.”
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