Elad terror attack: Terrorists from Jenin worked in the city illegally

Elad City Council member warned that they needed to strengthen security but his request fell on deaf ears.

 Suspects for the Elad ax terrorist attack,  20-year-old Tzabahi Abu Shakir (Left) and 19 year-old Assad al-Rafai (Right). (photo credit: Israel Police/Composite image by Jerusalem Post Staff)
Suspects for the Elad ax terrorist attack, 20-year-old Tzabahi Abu Shakir (Left) and 19 year-old Assad al-Rafai (Right).
(photo credit: Israel Police/Composite image by Jerusalem Post Staff)

The two Palestinian suspects thought to be behind the Elad terrorist attack, Jenin residents Assad al-Rafai (19) and Tzabahi Abu Shakir (20), worked in Elad and knew the area, despite having illegally entered into Israeli territory after having breached the Seam Line, Army Radio confirmed Friday morning.

The two were identified by police and their pictures have been shared by security forces asking for the public to help locate them, indicating they are likely still in Israeli territory. Abu Shakir's father, Imad Abu Shakir, was arrested by Israeli law enforcement, KAN reported, citing Palestinian media.

The two are thought to have attacked several people in Elad Thursday with knives and axes — And in some eyewitness accounts hammers — resulting in three deaths and four injuries.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev vowed that the terrorists responsible would be apprehended "dead or alive."

A manhunt is currently underway in an attempt to catch them, but the details of this investigation have been placed under a gag order.

IDF operates along the Seam Line as repairs take place, April, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)IDF operates along the Seam Line as repairs take place, April, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

There are some 150,000 Palestinians who enter Israel legally from the West Bank and according to some estimates, another 30,000 cross through holes in the West Bank fence each day, mostly men who have not received permits but want to work in Israel.

Greater attention has been brought to this in recent months, ever since the ongoing wave of terrorist attacks began in March.

One of these attacks occurred in Bnei Brak, where the terrorist was an illegal Palestinian that had worked there and knew the area.

Speaking to Army Radio, Elad City Council member Yaniv Bedlov said that he had attempted to take precautions in the city ever since the Bnei Brak attack.

"The writing was on the wall," Bedlov said. "A month ago, immediately after the massacre in Bnei Brak, I sent a letter to the mayor and the police requesting we strengthen security in the city."

However, he claims his pleas fell on deaf ears. "There are only two entrances to the city, but the checkpoints were unmanned and the fence fell."

This is a developing story.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.