Israel reportedly arrests another Palestinian behind the deadly Dolev Spring attack

Several Palestinians have been arrested in connection with the August attack that killed Rina Shnerb.

IDF manhunt for terrorist who murdered Rina Shnerb (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
IDF manhunt for terrorist who murdered Rina Shnerb
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
An alleged senior member of the terror cell suspected of perpetrating the West Bank bombing that killed teenager Rina Shnerb in August was arrested by Israeli security forces early on Thursday, Palestinian media reported.
According to the reports, security forces arrested Walid Muhammed Hanatsheh at his home in the village of Al-Tira outside of Ramallah during overnight arrest raids across the West Bank, which saw 13 Palestinians arrested by IDF troops and Border Police officers.
Wafa News reported that the raids took place in several villages in the Ramallah area including Kobar, Deir Abu Mashaal, Jifna and Al-Tira. During Hanatsheh’s arrest, a Palestinian TV cameraman was injured after troops fired a rubber bullet toward rioters.
NGO Monitor research found that Hanatsheh, who acts as finance and administration manager for the health work committees (HWC), has been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) since the Second Intifada, and has been arrested by Israel several times for his membership in the terrorist group.
His arrest comes almost a week after Israel’s Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that it had arrested suspects in the deadly attack, which claimed the life of 17-year-old Shnerb and injured her father and brother at the Ein Bubin Spring near the settlement of Dolev.
The suspects were identified as PFLP members Qassem a-Karim Rajah Shibli, Yasan Hasin Hasni Majamas, Nizam Sami Yousef Ulad Mahmoud and cell leader Samer Arbid.
According to the Shin Bet, Arbid prepared the explosive device and detonated it when he saw the Shnerb family approaching the spring.
Shortly after the arrests, Arbid was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah-University Medical Center in Mount Scopus in critical condition with severe internal injuries following his interrogation by Shin Bet officers. According to sources, the Shin Bet was given permission to use “extraordinary measures” in Arbid’s interrogation.
While his condition has slightly improved, the PFLP warned that “Israel bears full responsibility for Arbid’s situation,” and that their response will be “painful and appropriate” if his condition deteriorates further.
Hamas also warned that “Israel bears responsibility for the condition of the detainee Samer Arbid,” that the “resistance forces will continue the fight, and that the flames of resistance will grow despite the occupation and security coordination” between Palestinian Authority security forces and Israel.
The Ofer military court rejected a petition by Arbid’s lawyer Mahmoud Hassan, who claimed that Arbid had “undergone severe torture” by Israeli security officers and that he be released due to his injuries.
Israel’s Justice Ministry has launched an investigation into Arbid’s injuries, looking into the degree of force and tactics used by his interrogators.
According to reports, the Shin Bet will be able to resume interrogating him in the coming days as it continues to search for additional cell members.
Arbid, NGO Monitor said, was listed as an accountant for Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO that provides legal representation to Palestinians detained in Israel. The organization was listed as a PFLP-affiliated institution on Fatah’s website in September 2015.
According to NGO Monitor, Addameer has received funding from numerous European states and government institutions, including the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Irish Aid, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Basque Government and the Municipality of Barcelona.
Leon Sverdlov contributed to this report.