Ron Isaac Kukia.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Two Negev residents have been arrested in connection to the terror attack which killed an Israeli soldier in the southern city of Arad on Thursday night, the Shin Bet cleared for release on Monday.
The IDF and Israel police carried out extensive searches in the southern Mount Hebron area, setting up roadblocks after Nahal Brigade soldier 19-year-old Sgt. Ron Yitzhak Kukia was stabbed in the throat while waiting for a bus outside an Arad shopping mall. His Tavor assault rifle was also taken by the attackers.
The two suspects were arrested on Friday night by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Services) – 24 hours after the attack. According to the Shin Bet, one of the two men who was arrested implicated himself in the attack and led investigators to the stolen weapon. According to Yediot Aharonot, one of the suspects took investigators to the scene of the attack where he reconstructed what happened.
The identity of the suspects and further details of the investigation have been placed under a gag order.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman congratulated the security forces for arresting the suspects quickly. Taking to his Facebook and Twitter pages Liberman said that the “murder of the late Sergeant Ron Yitzhak Kukia once again proves the need apply the death penalty to terrorists.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also praised the Israeli security forces for “capturing the despicable terrorists” who carried out the attack which killed Kukia. “The intelligence-operational activity of the security forces led to a quick recognition of the terror attack and a quick seizure of the terrorists the very next night. The security forces will reach anyone who tries to harm our citizens and the State of Israel will bring them to justice,” he said.
On Thursday evening paramedics received a call around 9:30 p.m. about a man who had been stabbed in his upper body and severely wounded at a bus stop outside a mall.
Scene in Arad after a suspected terror attack (Credit: Israel Police)
“When we arrived, we saw a young man of about 20 lying unconscious with no pulse and not breathing with stab wounds on his upper body. We gave him life-saving medical treatment and carried out advanced CPR operations,” said Magen David Adom Paramedic Ziv Shapira.
According to MDA CPR efforts were unsuccessful in resuscitating Kukia who was pronounced dead shortly after.
Kukia was laid to rest Sunday afternoon at Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul military cemetery, with some 2,000 people in attendance.
Eulogizing his son Boaz Kukia said that “our Ron was brought up to love and respect people, both in our family and society at large, but he was also brought up to ‘respect them and suspect them,’ especially as it pertains to strangers. I think Ron may not have been suspicious enough Thursday night when he was murdered by the lowest of the low: Israel’s enemies from within.”
Continuing, Boaz Kukia called on “Israelis of all religions and creeds to be more tolerant and less critical of each other, for each group to aspire to be elevated to the same plateau as others and not at their expense.”