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Ten years following their murder, the terrorists who shot and killed Eeta Zur and her 12-year-old son Efraim were finally caught overnight Wednesday in a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) raid on Ramallah.
Shin Bet agents backed up by troops from the Engineering Corps arrested Ibahim Alikam, 34 and Ibrahim Hani, 35 - suspected of perpetrating the shooting attack in December 1996 on a road near Ramallah which killed Zur and her son and injured four other family relatives.
Following the attack, both gunmen were arrested by the Palestinian Authority and were sentenced to life in prison but were released several years later. Since then, the defense establishment has invested vast resources and utilized some of the most elite IDF units in trying to apprehend the two. During a search of their home, soldiers found two loaded pistols and a large knife.
On December 11, 1996, the Zur family was driving in its station wagon on the way from the settlement of Dolev to their home in Beit-El for Hanukkah-candle lighting. They were driving on a new road that was recently paved by the Binyamin Regional Council that connected the two settlements. Most of the ride was peaceful but one kilometer before the family reached Beit El, three terrorists opened fire at the car.
Yoel Tzur, the husband and father of the mother and son killed in the attack, rejoiced declaring: "Justice, integrity and morality have now seen the light of day."
"We completed a saga that began in 1996," said Lt.-Col. Oshri, commander of the Engineering Corps battalion, adding that the troops searched a large number of homes before entering the one the terrorists were hiding in. "They tried to run away but thankfully we caught them." He said that Hani and Alikam had been living "like dogs" and were found sleeping on mats and on top of cigarette butts.
Later in the day, two Israelis were lightly wounded after one was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian and the other was pelted by rocks near Rosh Zurim in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. The Palestinian attackers escaped on foot from the scene and large Police and IDF forces were conducting searches in an attempt to locate the assailants.
The wounded, in their teens and from the settlement of Gan Shmuel, were hiking in the area at the time of the attack. Their wounds were treated at the scene, and they were later evacuated to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.
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