Terror in Hadera: Two Border Police officers killed in ISIS attack

Two Border Police officers killed, 12 injured • ISIS claims responsibility • Defense establishment on high alert

Two Israelis killed by terrorists in Hadera, March 27, 2022 (credit: Security footage).

Two Arab-Israeli terrorists who swore allegiance to ISIS shot and killed two Border Police officers and injured twelve others in Hadera on Sunday evening.

The two Border Police officers killed in the attack in Hadera Sunday were Yazan Fallah, 19, from Kasra Samia, and Shirel Aboukaret, 19, from Netanya.

Sheren Fallah Saab, a journalist at Haaretz, tweeted on Monday that Fallah is her relative, saying "this is one of the hardest nights for the Fallah family - my family."

"I have no words to describe to you how awful and painful the shock, crying and helplessness that struck the family is," wrote Saab. Yazan leaves behind his parents and two sisters.

The two terrorists, both residents of Umm el-Fahm, posted a video on Facebook before the attack swearing allegiance to ISIS. The terrorist movement's news agency published a statement on Sunday taking responsibility for the attack in Hadera, as well as for the deadly terrorist attack conducted by an ISIS-supporting Bedouin-Israeli in Beersheba last week.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived at the scene where the shooters were shot dead by undercover officers from Border Police's Counterterrorism Unit, who were eating at a restaurant near the scene of the attack.

The attackers waited for a bus to drive by before shooting towards civilians.

Two Israeli men in their 20s were seriously injured in the attack, while a 45-year-old man and an Israeli woman in her 20s were lightly injured. They were rushed to Hillel Yafe Medical Center in the city for further treatment.

At the scene of the shooting, two additional civilians were treated by paramedics. Five passersby were also evacuated to Hillel Yafe Medical Center after showing signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

Defense establishment on high alert

On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived at the scene where the terrorists were shot dead by undercover officers from Border Police's Counterterrorism Unit, who were eating at a restaurant near the scene of the attack.

Shin Bet director Ronen Bar, Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai and Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev were also at the scene as police helicopters scanned the area to rule out the possibility that more attackers connected to the attack remained on the streets of Hadera.

Israel Police were placed on the highest level of alert on Monday after the attack.

Police will set up checkpoints along major thoroughfares and deploy large forces in city centers and heavily trafficked areas.

 Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai at the scene of a dedly attack in Hadera, March 27, 2022.  (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai at the scene of a dedly attack in Hadera, March 27, 2022. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Security forces arrested five family members of the attackers in Umm el-Fahm shortly after the attack took place in Hadera, seizing weapons and ammunition while searching homes in the city.

Israel Police decided on Monday to place Border Police officers in Umm el-Fahm in order to keep the peace and protect public order, as well as to help with searches and arrests if necessary.

Bar, Shabtai and Bar Lev held a situation assessment Sunday with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with police announcing an increased state of alert and the IDF announcing it would deploy reinforcements along the Green Line and in the West Bank.

Bar-Lev told Army Radio on Sunday night that the terrorists prepared the attack ahead of time, saying that he believes that they were not alone.

According to KAN news, the defense establishment is considering using administrative detention against potential Arab-Israeli attackers. Such a move would need to be approved by the defense minister.

Administrative detention is a special status in Israel where a detainee gets to argue for their release in a judicial proceeding, but the standards of the proceeding do not offer the same protections as regular criminal trials.

After a situation evaluation on Sunday night, Defense Minister Benny Gantz thanked the security forces who neutralized the terrorists and sent his condolences to the victims' families and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.

"The IDF and all security forces are deployed and prepared with all means to restore calm and maintain the security of Israeli citizens everywhere and in every arena," he said. "We will act vigorously against terrorism and the terrorists, and we will promote the continued reinforcement of the forces on the ground." 

Ra'am head Mansour Abbas condemned the attack: "This disgusting crime was ISIS-inspired and does not reflect the Israeli-Arab population, which seeks to live in respect and in accordance with the law, a life that honors the living and coexistence between Arabs and Jews.

Abbas sent his condolences to the victims' families and wished a quick recovery to the injured. 

He also called on Arab politicians and community leaders to fight to root violence out in their communities.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist movement, both publicly opposed to ISIS, welcomed the terrorist attack on Sunday, with the factions calling it a "heroic operation."

Negev summit

The attack comes as Israel is hosting a major summit in the Negev with foreign ministers from the United States, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

A senior Foreign Ministry official said the summit would continue despite the attack, according to Walla News' Barak Ravid.

The foreign ministers of all nations involved in the Negev Summit have condemned the attack, the Foreign Ministry said. "The terror attack is yet another attempt by violent extremists to terrorize Israelis and damage the Israeli fabric of life," Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the attack, calling it a "senseless act of violence and murder" on Twitter.

The attack comes less than a week after a deadly terrorist attack in Beersheba, in which four Israelis were killed by a Bedouin-Israeli gunman who was shot dead by civilians at the scene. 

Palestinian terrorist groups have called in recent weeks for increased attacks on Israelis ahead of the month of Ramadan, which starts this coming Saturday.