Police car at crime scene.
(photo credit: SHLOMI)
An Israeli Arab man from Jerusalem who ran through a police roadblock in the city on Tuesday morning was arrested several hours later in Herzliya, after his father warned police he might be on his way there to carry out a terrorist attack.
After running the checkpoint around 7 a.m., the man, identified by police as 20-year-old Ahmed Hatib, of east Jerusalem’s Sur Bahir neighborhood, made his way to Herzliya, where he abandoned his car in the center of the city and fled on foot.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Hatib’s father contacted authorities shortly after his son left Jerusalem to warn them that he was concerned that he may become involved in a terrorist attack in Herzliya.
“Based on that information, roadblocks were immediately set up in the area, and after police found the abandoned vehicle an intensive search began for the suspect,” said Rosenfeld.
“We quickly found him after his photo was handed out to the public, and later confirmed that he had a criminal background, including terrorist activity.” Hatib was arrested.
By evening Tel Aviv police said they still had not determined what his motives were for running the checkpoint, nor did they have an indication that he was planning an attack. A spokesman added that Hatib was driving his own car when he fled from the police.
The Herzliya Municipality increased security at schools and other locations across the city during the search for the fugitive motorist. The municipality also urged residents to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity to police.
The incident added tension to the fifth day of a major manhunt for Nashat Milhem, an Israeli Arab man suspected of carrying out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Friday, killing two.
Also on Tuesday, a Palestinian assailant stabbed and lightly wounded an IDF reservist in the hand and face at a bus stop at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank. He was admitted to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in good condition.
Another soldier shot and killed the assailant, Ahmed Yusef Kawazba, 18, from the town of Sair, northeast of Hebron.Tovah Lazaroff and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.