IDF forces have carried out dozens of arrests as part of the effort to capture the terrorist As'am Barghouti who carried out the shooting attack in Givat Assaf. .
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
“He should not have been caught alive,” Ilanit Mor-Yosef, the mother of Yuval Mor-Yosef told Army Radio Tuesday.
Soldiers Yuval Mor-Yosef and Yosef Cohen were murdered on December 13 in a shooting attack outside the West Bank settlement of Givat Assaf. On Tuesday, Israel’s Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced it arrested the Palestinian suspect “without a shot fired.”
Asam Barghouti was arrested in a joint operation by the IDF, Israel Police and the Shin Bet in the West Bank village of Abu Shukheidim, north of Ramallah, at the home of one of his associates, the Shin Bet said in a statement.
IDF Forces operating in the Binyamin Region, January 8, 2019 (IDF)
Barghouti was transferred to the Shin Bet for additional interrogation.
Two more Israelis were wounded in the December 13 event, a female resident of Beit El and another IDF soldier, Nethaniel Felber, who remains in critical condition.
Security forces arrest Givat Asaf shooter who killed 2 IDF soldiers, January 8, 2019 (Reuters)
Choking back tears, Mor-Yosef said, “He has no right to be caught alive. The news is not consoling. He was already in prison and released, so what’s the point?”
Barghouti, originally from the village of Kobar north of Ramallah, comes from a Hamas-affiliated family and has spent 11 years in Israeli prisons for security-related crimes, including plans to abduct soldiers.
Mor-Yosef continued: “Who promises me that he will have it bad in prison? The result is that he is alive, and we are dead. He murdered, and he sits alive. In what normal country does this happen?”
She demanded that the terrorist’s house be demolished immediately.
“Destroy his house first and foremost – his and all his collaborators,” she said. “He was already involved in the incident in Ofra. Why didn’t they demolish the house then?”
According to the Shin Bet, Barghouti had been planning additional attacks against Israeli targets and was found with a Kalashnikov rifle, large amounts of ammunition and night vision equipment.
He carried out the Givat Assaf attack just days after he and his brother, Salah Barghouti, shot seven Israelis in a drive-by-shooting attack near the settlement of Ofra, north of Givat Assaf. One newborn child, who was delivered prematurely as a result of the attack, died three days later.Salah Barghouti was killed
during his arrest attempt on December 11.
“The arrest by the Israel Security Agency and soldiers from the Yamam Brigade was the culmination of an intelligence and operational effort that began immediately after the attack, during which the Shin Bet and the IDF used intelligence, operational and technological capabilities to locate the terrorist,” the Shin Bet said in the statement, adding that dozens of operatives and collaborators of Hamas in the West Bank have been arrested.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended security forces for the successful operation.
“I congratulate the Shin Bet, the IDF and the Yamam [Brigade] on the capture of the terrorist who carried out the attack in Givat Assaf and was a partner in the attack in Ofra,” he said in a statement. “The long hand of Israel will reach all those who harm our citizens, and the State of Israel will bring to justice them.”
“This is the classic case in which it is regrettable that the death penalty for terrorists was not instituted,” said Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman in a statement, noting that it was his party who presented and supported the legislation for the death penalty while it was the Likud party members and coalition heads who had “torpedoed” the bill.
Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) similarly praised the security forces.
“The State of Israel proves every time that it will not rest until it reaches every terrorist and closes the account with them,” she said in a statement. “Our enemies will know that all those who seek to harm us will be watched by our security forces and the account with them will be closed.”
Maayan Hoffman and Avraham Gold contributed to this story.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>