The IDF maintained a heavy presence in the Shechem area overnight Wednesday, as the search for the murderers of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, Hy”d, continued. IDF forces were still surrounding Shechem and villages in the area, and in many cases were maintaining full closures of villages and roads as the search continues. Several arrests have been made, but security sources said that the terror gang that carried out the attack was still at large.
Rabbi Shevach was laid to rest on Wednesday in his hometown of Chavat Gilad after an emotional levayah attended by thousands. Meanwhile, Channel One revealed further details of the murder. The report said that Rabbi Shevach was killed by a military-grade machine gun, valued on the open market at some NIS 50,000 – evidence that the terror gang was well-funded and probably consisting of professional shooters. Shell jackets from the shooting were found strewn on Road 60 in the area of the murder, indicating that well-practiced sharpshooters were behind the shooting.
Channel One reported that the Palestinian Authority was conducting its own investigation, on the assumption that the gang was affiliated with Hamas. A PA official told Channel One that there was “definitely” no chance that the Authority or any of its personnel were involved in the attack. “We use only M-16s and Kalachnikovs, and not the advanced weapon that was used in this incident. Only the terror groups use those,” the official said. The report added that the first person on the scene to assist Rabbi Shevach was a Palestinian EMT, who disappeared when IDF forces arrived a few minutes later.
Overnight Wednesday, security officials said they arrested 18 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.