Israeli security forces arrested the Palestinian man believed to have stabbed to death a rabbi near the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, 19, an Arab-Israeli resident of Jaffa, was caught in Nablus in the northern West Bank early on Sunday morning along with several other men who helped him hide. An Israeli citizen, the assailant’s mother lived in Haifa and his father is a Palestinian from Nablus. Assi was known to Haifa social services.
Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, a 29-year-old father of four young children, was fatally stabbed at a bus stop at the entrance to the northern West Bank settlement of Ariel on February 5. The rabbi was from the settlement of Har Bracha, and had been on the way to the brit of his newborn nephew.
The attack came less than a month after Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a father of six from the West Bank outpost of Gilad Farm, was killed in a drive-by attack carried out by a Palestinian terror cell.
Assi reportedly was found hiding in a home in Nablus and was injured during the arrest. “The arrest was carried out by the Shin Bet, Israel Police Special Patrol Unit and Israel Defense Forces. It was the culmination of extensive efforts since the terror attack, during which a number of accomplices, who are suspected of either helping him (Assi) or knowing his whereabouts, were interrogated,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
“The IDF continues to take all threats of safety against Israeli civilians seriously, and will continue to act in response to breaches of Israeli security and sovereignty,” the IDF spokesman said in announcing the arrest.