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IDF manhunt for terrorist who murdered Rina Shnerb.(Photo by: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
IDF releases new photos of manhunt for terrorists who killed Rina Shnerb
By ANNA AHRONHEIM
08/25/2019
The attack at the popular Ein Buvin spring on Friday also wounded her Shnerb's father Eitan and brother Dvir, 19.
The IDF on Saturday night continued to scour the West Bank for the Palestinians responsible for the bombing at the popular Ein Buvin water spring that killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and wounded her father Eitan and 19-year-old brother Dvir.

During the manhunt, Ribhi Abu al Safa and Mohammed Abu al Safawere were arrested in the village of Ein Arik close to Ramallah.  Hamas member Israr Ma'arouf, a student at Birzeit University who has spent time in Israeli jails, was arrested in the nearby village of Ein Qiniya.


Details regarding the arrests and the identity of the three men were publicized on social media and in the Palestinian media. The IDF has not linked the trio to the attack, stating only that they were arrested during the manhunt and are now being interrogated. 

 
IDF troops confiscated surveillance cameras from businesses in Ein Arik and Ein Qiniya, according to the Palestinian News Agency.  Additional raids took place in the village of Beitunya.

It’s the second Palestinian attack on the spring located near the Dolev settlement in the Binyamin Region of the West Bank. In 2015, 25-year-old Danny Gonen was shot to death on a dirt road next to the spring, now known as “Dani's Spring.”

On Friday morning, an improvised explosive device planted earlier at the Ein Buvin spring was remotely detonated by Palestinians as the Shnerb family approached.  An attack of this kind is an unusual occurrence in the West Bank, where terrorists tend to carry out shooting, ramming or knife attacks.

This was “a serious terror attack,” IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said. The military has still not determined if the terrorists acted as part of an established terror group or were working alone, he explained.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held security consultations immediately after the attack.

“We will continue to strengthen [Israeli] settlement [in Judea and Samaria]. We will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies. The security arms are in pursuit after the abhorrent terrorists. We will apprehend them. The long arm of Israel reaches all those who seek our lives and will settle accounts with them," Netanyahu said.

The army, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the police are in “the midst of a coordinated, broad intelligence operation to locate the perpetrators of the murderous and serious attack. I am certain we will locate the perpetrators soon and continue to provide security for residents living in Judea and Samaria,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said during a visit to the scene.

Kochavi, the Head of the Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nadav Padan, Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Eran Niv and other senior commanders have been to the scene conducting a situational assessment, the IDF said.

According to Manelis, a reinforcement of troops was also deployed in a defensive maneuver to prevent any additional attacks. Blockades have also been placed in the area as troops searched for the terrorists.

“The army is dealing with attempted terror attacks, with lone-wolf assailants and with terror cells,” Manelis said, adding that there has been an increase in terrorist activities and violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Friday's attack was the fourth this month. In the Gush Etzion region, 18-year-old Dvir Sorek was stabbed to death on August 7
and two siblings Nahum, 18 and Noam Navis, 20 were injured in a ramming attack on August 16. A policeman was stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City on August 15.

Last month, the Shin Bet announced that it had foiled a series of attempts by the military wing of Hamas to establish terrorist cells in the West Bank and that it had arrested an explosives expert who entered Israel with a humanitarian permit for medical treatment.
 
 "The military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip continues to invest considerable efforts in establishing terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank, with the aim of promoting terrorist attacks in Israel aimed at undermining regional stability,” a senior Shin Bet officer said.
 
While no group has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, Hamas praised the attackers, saying that “today’s operation is proof of the vitality of our people, and their bravery and their failure to surrender to the crimes and terrorism of the occupation.”
 
Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh said that the attack was a warning to Israel to stay away from the “powder keg” that is Jerusalem.
 
“I welcome today's operation, and although I don't know who carried it out, I support them and wish them safety. The operation is a warning to the occupation concerning Jerusalem and Al Aqsa,” he said in a statement.
 
Describing the West Bank as a “volcano that will erupt,” Haniyeh said the group "warned Israel not to hold this election campaign at the expense of our historic right as the Palestinian people."

Tovah Lazaroff and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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