Palestinians clash with IDF troops during hunt for Havat Gilad killer

IDF troops surrounded the village of Burqin in search for Ahmad Nasser Jarrar.

IDF soldier near Jenin  (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
IDF soldier near Jenin
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
Israeli security forces clashed with Palestinians in the West Bank on Saturday as they continued to hunt for the killer of a rabbi near the outpost of Havat Gilad last month, the IDF confirmed.
During the night, IDF forces detained a Palestinian who is suspected of collaborating with the attacker. The IDF, together with other security forces, said they would continue to take action against anyone who assisted the suspect in any way and would continue to protect the security of the residents of Israel.
During the raid, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the village of Burqin in the West Bank, Palestinian health officials said on Saturday.
“At the end of last week, and in recent hours, IDF troops from the Menashe Brigade, along with the Shin Bet (Security Agency) and Border Police, arrested a number of suspects,” read a statement by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit. “In the last hours of the operation, some disturbances occurred and security forces responded with riot control measures.”
Deputy Jenin Gov. Kamal Abu Rub said that clashes broke out in the Palestinian village of Zababida, while Kufir, a nearby village, was being encircled by troops. According to Wafa, three teenagers were injured by rubber-coated bullets and a forth by live fire.
Troops searching for Ahmad Nassr Jarrar surrounded the village of Burkin, west of Jenin in the northern West Bank, leaving five Palestinians injured in clashes. While in Burkin, troops used loudspeakers to tell residents to leave their homes and called on Jarrar to turn himself in.
According to the official Palestinian Authority news agency, Wafa, troops raided a Burkin home and arrested at least four Palestinians, two of them members of the Jarrar family.
In addition to encircling Burkin, IDF troops also blocked the entrances to two nearby villages and demolished a room and a sheep’s pen.
This was the second raid on Burkin and the neighboring villages within several hours. In the earlier raid, troops arrested five Palestinians, including three brothers from the Jarrar family.
According to Wafa, the army used dogs in both operations, leaving several Palestinians injured after they were bit, including one of the brothers, Kassem Jarrar, who was pulled from his home by an army dog.
The army has been searching for the killers of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 32, a resident of the Havat Gilad outpost near Nablus, who was shot 22 times close to his home in a drive-by attack on Route 60. He was married with six children – four daughters and two sons – ages 11 to eight months.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Hamas issued a statement praising the murder.
Two weeks after the murder the Israel Police’s Counterterrorism Unit led a 12-hour operation in which one Palestinian was killed and two others arrested and two police officers were wounded after an exchange of gunfire with the suspects.
During the operation, Israeli troops demolished Ahmad Nassr Jarrar’s home as well as the adjacent home that belonged to his uncle and another two belonging to other members of the Jarrar clan. While Ahmad Nassr Jarrar was initially believed to have been killed in the demolition of the home, his body was not found by Palestinians inside the rubble.
Israeli security forces have since continued to search for Jarrar who was able to evade capture, carrying out both covert and overt operations in the West Bank. In late January, Israeli troops arrested Jarrar’s brother Suhaib Nassar Jarrar.
Following the raid in Jenin, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the security establishment knows everything about the cell that carried out the attack and those who aided them.
“We will get him soon and settle our accounts with him. He should know that he is currently living the life of a fleeing dog. He is living on borrowed time. We will catch him,” he said.
Adam Rasgon, staff and Reuters contributed to this report.