The IDF on Tuesday morning surrounded and closed off entrances and exits to the village of Beit Suriq, the village where the Arab terrorist, who murdered three Israelis early Tuesday, lived. Residents told Palestinian media that IDF soldiers had entered the home of the terrorist, and were questioning family members.
Israeli officials, meanwhile, have begun investigating how the terrorist, who has not yet been named, was able to get through the strong security checks that PA workers who enter Israel are subject to, and why the terrorist’s potential for carrying out an attack was not identified. The terrorist was a 37-year-old Palestinian, a father of four, who is believed to have carried out the attack of his own volition, with his motives still a mystery. According to Channel Two, the terrorist had worked for the Har Adar local authority, but was fired four years ago.
Security officials said that the terrorist’s profile veered significantly from the profile of other “lone terrorists” who have carried out attacks in recent years; nearly all were young, single, and fervently Muslim. In addition, almost none had Israeli work permits.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that there had been no prior warning, specific or general, that the attack was to take place. “The Palestinian incitement against Israel continues, and we see that it has affected a worker with a permit to enter Israel,” which does not follow patterns and profiles of terrorist activity, he added.
The attack took place at a checkpoint outside the town of Har Adar, north of Yerushalayim, where thousands of PA workers enter Israel daily. The workers at that checkpoint are part of a large group of some 75,000 or more who have daily work permits that allow them to enter Israel. Nearly all terror attacks in recent years that occurred in Israeli cities were carried out by Palestinians who illegally entered Israel.
According to Channel Two, there was only one other terror attack in which the terrorist had a work permit – the attack at the Panorama Building in Tel Aviv in 2015.
The terrorist was part of a group that had been ushered into Har Adar via the checkpoint, from where they were to proceed to their jobs. Channel Two reported that the terrorist had raised security concerns even before he passed through the security fence; security personnel met him outside the fence, and he pulled out a handgun and shot them, killing three and injuring one. The terrorist was immediately killed by other security personnel.
Another question that security officials will seek to answer is where the terrorist acquired the gun he used to kill his victims. While handguns are said to be relatively easy to acquire, many of them are “homemade,” built in workshops in villages in PA-controlled areas. The gun used by the terrorist appeared to be a “real” one, of the type used by security personnel in Israel.