Israeli security forces raided homes in the West Bank overnight on Sunday, arresting suspects and mapping the homes of the terrorists who carried out a deadly attack in Ariel.
Soldiers, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) agents and Border Police officers arrested Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity and confiscated illegal weapons in the West Bank villages of Jelazun, Mirka, Sa-Nur and Karawat Bani Hassan, the hometown of the two terrorists.
During the operation in the Jelazun refugee camp, dozens of rioters threw stones at troops, who responded by opening fire. During another operation, the security forces detained five suspects and confiscated pistols, a shotgun and a Carlo submachine gun.
Twelve Palestinians suspected of being involved in terrorist activity were detained overnight and were transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning. The security forces were unharmed.
In Karawat Bani Hassan, soldiers mapped the homes of Samih Assi and Yahya Mir’i, who were captured on Saturday night. During the mapping operation, a man suspected of aiding the two terrorists was detained.
On Friday night at about 11:20 p.m., two terrorists shot and stabbed security guard Golev Vyacheslav, 23, at the western entrance to Ariel. They arrived in a car with Israeli license plates, and security footage caught them exiting the car and opening fire at the security post.
The terrorists returned to their car and then came back to stab Vyacheslav, before making a U-turn and driving away. The car was later found burned in the nearby Palestinian town of Salfit.
Vyacheslav, from a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) family in Beit Shemesh, was guarding the entrance with his fiancée, Victoria Fiegelman, and shielded her with his body, saving her life.
It is not believed that the terrorists carried out the attack at the order of any organization, Mir’i was named after the 1990s Hamas bomb maker Yahya Ayyash, known as the “engineer.” His father was a close friend of Ayyash and the personal assistant to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin while in prison.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commended the forces who captured Mir’i and Assi.
“We will remember Vyacheslav, along with all our heroes,” he said. “During the Sabbath, the late 23-year-old security guard Vyacheslav Golev was murdered in Ariel while protecting with his body his fiancée, who secured the checkpoint of the settlement with him, saving her life. This lovely couple just started their life together. Our hearts are broken.”
In an attempt to bring the violence to an end, the IDF has redeployed 12 battalions to the West Bank, which now has 25 battalions, and has called up reserve battalions to replace soldiers who were redeployed to the area from the Northern and Southern commands.
Bennett said the country will overcome the current wave of terrorism.
It “requires that the entire security establishment be stretched to its limit, and the government will support the troops,” he said. “We have the task of overcoming this wave as well. We as the Israeli government and citizens of Israel have the duty to thank you, back you up and give you all the support and tools to succeed.”
Ahead of Remembrance Day and Independence Day, the IDF announced a closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the exception of humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases made with the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
The closure will begin on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and will last until Friday at midnight, subject to a situational assessment.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.