Official: Israel, PA Working Together to Capture Barkan Terrorist

IDF forces seek clues in their search overnight Sunday for the murderer of two Israelis. (IDF Spokesman)

Hundreds of IDF soldiers were still conducting a widespread search for the terrorist who murdered two Israelis in the Barkan Industrial Zone on Sunday. Large numbers of troops operated throughout the night in the village of Shweika, near Tul Karem. Arabs in the village rioted and threw rocks and bricks at soldiers, who responded with antiriot measures as they conducted house-by-house searches for the terrorist, 23-year-old Ashraf Nalaweh. Searches are also taking place in Arab villages in central Shomron as well, where the terrorist may be hiding.

In the attack, Nalaweh murdered two workers, Ziv Hajabi, Hy”d, and Kim Levengard Yechezkel, Hy”d. Nalaweh was employed at Alon Metalworks, in the Barkan Industrial Zone, as an electrician and had been working there for seven months. He arrived for work at 7:30 Sunday morning, carrying with him an assault rifle hidden under his clothing. As a regular employee with a work permit, he was admitted to the grounds of the industrial zone without too much scrutiny, security officials told Yediot Acharonot.

Nalaweh went to the factory’s second floor to fix a problem, but when he saw several workers he went back downstairs, now brandishing his weapon. Witnesses said that he took some plastic ties from a worker on the first floor, and went back upstairs to carry out his attack. He then ran toward Levengard, who was sitting at a desk at the end of the hall. According to some accounts, he tied her hands with the plastic ties, and shot her. He then ran to one of the offices on the floor and shot Hajabi, before running downstairs and out of the building.

Security officials told Yediot Acharonot that Israel is fully coordinated with the Palestinian Authority in the search for Nalaweh. “We are sharing information about where he may have gone, and the PA police are looking for him in order to arrest him as well. It is likely that the terrorist will prefer to turn himself in to PA authorities, perhaps believing that they will not turn him over to Israel.”

Hundreds attended the Sunday night levayah of Levengard in Rosh Ha’ayin, who left behind parents, sisters, a husband, and a year-and-a-half-year old infant. At the levayah, her husband, Guy, said that he “promised never to forget you. We will raise our child exactly the way you wanted to raise him.”

Hajabi’s levayah will take place in Rishon LeTzion later Monday.

Overnight Sunday, security officials said they arrested 16 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.

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