‘Is­lamic Ji­had mem­ber’ ar­rested by Is­raeli forces

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

JERUSALEM: Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces have ar­rested an al­leged mem­ber of mil­i­tant move­ment Is­lamic Ji­had and de­tained other sus­pects over the mur­der of a rabbi and his son near West Bank city He­bron, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. The army, in a joint state­ment with the Shin Bet se­cu­rity agency, did not dis­close the num­ber of peo­ple ar­rested, but added that “forces also lo­cated the weapon and ve­hi­cle used to ex­e­cute the at­tack”.

Shin Bet said that the chief sus­pect “linked him­self to the at­tack” dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu said the main sus­pect in the mur­ders on Fri­day was a mem­ber of Pales­tinian mil­i­tant group Is­lamic Ji­had. “The rep­re­hen­si­ble ter­ror­ist who mur­dered Yaakov Lit­man and his son Ne­tanel last Fri­day has been ap­pre­hended by the se­cu­rity forces; he be­longs to Is­lamic Ji­had,” Ne­tanyahu said at the start of a cab­i­net meet­ing.

The Is­lamist move­ment is banned in Is­rael and con­sid­ered a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by the Euro­pean Union and many Western coun­tries. The 40-year-old fa­ther and 18-year-old son were am­bushed and shot dead as they drove near the Jewish set­tle­ment of Ot­niel, south of He­bron, in the blood­i­est at­tack on Is­raelis in nearly a month. There were a to­tal of seven peo­ple in the car, and Lit­man’s wife and a 16year-old son were also wounded, ac­cord­ing to Is­raeli me­dia and Shin Bet. The army said the Is­raeli fam­ily was on its way to a Sab­bath din­ner at the time. Their mur­ders sparked a man­hunt, with sol­diers backed by air units de­ploy­ing in the neigh­bour­ing Pales­tinian com­mu­ni­ties of Yatta and As Samou in the oc­cu­pied West Bank.

Am­bu­lance Con­tro­versy

Con­tro­versy also broke out yes­ter­day over an al­le­ga­tion by Lit­man’s wife, Noa, that a Pales­tinian Red Cres­cent am­bu­lance stopped at the scene but did not help the wounded. The Red Cres­cent de­nied the al­le­ga­tion. The claim drew a re­sponse from Ne­tanyahu, who asked the for­eign min­istry to file a protest with the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and re­quest ex­pla­na­tions. “If things are in­deed as they seem to me to­day, the state of Is­rael will take ap­pro­pri­ate steps against the Red Cres­cent,” which is a mem­ber of the ICRC, Ne­tanyahu said in a state­ment.

Az­zam Ni­mar, Red Cres­cent emer­gency cen­tre di­rec­tor for Jerusalem, told AFP they had been re­fused en­try by the Is­raeli mil­i­tary. “Our am­bu­lance reached the scene, and the mil­i­tary re­fused to al­low them and threat­ened them and told them to leave,” he said. “They left the area ac­cord­ing to the army’s or­ders. Our mis­sion is to pro­vide care to any­body who needs it. We don’t look at re­li­gion. We have pro­vided care for Jews many times.” Ni­mar said that the Is­raeli army has of­ten de­layed ac­cess to scenes of at­tacks. Violence since the start of Oc­to­ber has killed 81 peo­ple on the Pales­tinian side - in­clud­ing one Arab Is­raeli - and 12 Is­raelis. Many of the Pales­tini­ans killed were al­leged at­tack­ers, while oth­ers have been shot dead by Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces dur­ing clashes. The shoot­ing dead of two set­tlers in front of their chil­dren in the north­ern West Bank on Oct 1 was the first in­ci­dent in the weeks-long wave of gun, knife and car­ram­ming at­tacks by Pales­tini­ans. —AFP

JERUSALEM: Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu (sec­ond right) and De­fense Min­is­ter Moshe Yaalon (right) at­tend the weekly cab­i­net meet­ing at the PM’s of­fice yes­ter­day. — AFP

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